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What function does the Cytoskeleton serve? Thanks

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Last Updated June 13, 2009

1. What function does the Cytoskeleton serve?

The cytoskeleton is both a muscle and a skeleton, and is responsible for cell movement, cytokinesis, and the organization of the organelles within the cell.

As its name implies, the cytoskeleton helps to maintain cell shape. But the primary importance of the cytoskeleton is in cell motility. The internal movement of cell organelles, as well as cell locomotion and muscle fiber contraction could not take place without the cytoskeleton.

The cytoskeleton is an organized network of three primary protein filaments: microtubules, actin filaments, and intermediate fibers. The complexity of the cytoskeleton can be seen in pictures that depict the abundant F-actin stress fibers in the endothelial cell.


What is it?

The cytoskeleton is unique to eukaryotic cells. It is a dynamic three-dimensional structure that fills the cytoplasm. This structure acts as both muscle and skeleton, for movement and stability. The long fibers of the cytoskeleton are polymers of subunits. The primary types of fibers comprising the cytoskeleton are microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments.

* Microfilaments are fine, thread-like protein fibers, 3-6 nm in diameter. They are composed predominantly of a contractile protein called ...

Solution Summary

Explains what the Cytoskelton is and the function the Cytoskeleton serves. Last Updated June 13, 2009.