In details


Cytoskeleton: Structure with various functions in the cell

What is and composition

The cytoskeleton is a cellular structure, kind of network, composed of a set of three different types of protein filaments. They are: microtubules, intermediate filaments and microfilaments.

Cytoskeleton composition

The cytoskeleton is basically made up of two proteins: actin and tubulin.

Main features

Microtubules (long and hollow tubes) are larger than the other cytoskeleton components. They are responsible for both the cellular form and the movement that occurs in cells. They also act on the movement of the eyelashes and flagella.

Intermediate filaments are in the middle ground in shape compared to microtubules and microfilaments. Being thicker than microfilaments and thinner than microtubules. It has the function of keeping the cell organelles in place.

Microfilaments help maintain cellular vigor and shape; give mechanical support and collaborate in the movement; contribute to plasma membrane functions; act on muscle contraction; embryonic cell migration; fights infections and skin healing processes.

Functions in the cell:

- Maintenance and cellular organization, both in its form and its content. It is also responsible for the movement of cells;

- Shapes the cell;

- Enables the circular movement of the cytoplasm inside the cell, acting in the process of substance transport;

- Allows the union of cells;

- The cytoskeleton of the cells present in the muscles acts from the process of muscle contraction;

- Formation and movement of flagella and eyelashes;

- In amoebae and some protozoan species, the cytoskeleton is responsible for amoeboid movement.

- In the process of cell division, participate in the movement of chromosomes.