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Eucaryotic Cell Interactive Animation

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Eucaryotic Cell Organelles
"ucleus# The nucleus is the most obvious organelle in any eu$aryotic cell. %t is enclosed
in a double membrane and communicates ith the surrounding cytosol via numerous
nuclear pores. Within the nucleus is the
&"' responsible for providing the cell
ith its uni(ue characteristics. The &"' is
similar in every cell of the body, but
depending on the specific cell type, some genes may be turned on or off - that)s hy a
liver cell is different from a muscle cell, and a muscle cell is different from a fat cell.
When a cell is dividing, the nuclear chromatin *&"' and surrounding protein+ condenses
into chromosomes that are easily seen by microscopy.
"ucleolus# The prominent structure in the nucleus is the nucleolus. The nucleolus
produces ribosomes, hich move out of the nucleus and ta$e positions on the rough
endoplasmic reticulum here they are critical in protein synthesis.
,ytosol# The cytosol is the -soup- ithin hich all the other cell organelles reside and
here most of the cellular metabolism occurs. Though mostly ater, the cytosol is full of
proteins that control cell metabolism including signal transduction pathays, glycolysis,
intracellular receptors, and transcription factors.
,ytoplasm# This is a collective term for the cytosol plus the organelles suspended ithin
the cytosol.
,entrosome# The centrosome, or M%,./TUBU01 /.2'"%3%"2 ,1"T1. *MT/,+,
is an area in the cell here microtubules are produced. 4lant and animal cell centrosomes
play similar roles in cell division, and both include collections of microtubules, but the
plant cell centrosome is simpler and does not have centrioles.
&uring animal cell division, the centrioles replicate *ma$e ne copies+ and the
centrosome divides. The result is to centrosomes, each ith its on pair of centrioles.
The to centrosomes move to opposite ends of the nucleus, and from each centrosome,
microtubules gro into a -spindle- hich is responsible for separating replicated
chromosomes into the to daughter cells.

,entriole *animal cells only+# 1ach centriole is a ring of nine groups of fused
microtubules. There are three microtubules in each group. Microtubules *and centrioles+
are part of the cytos$eleton. %n the complete animal cell centrosome, the to centrioles
are arranged such that one is perpendicular to the other.
2olgi# The 2olgi apparatus is a membrane-bound structure ith a single membrane. %t is
actually a stac$ of membrane-bound vesicles that are important in pac$aging
macromolecules for transport elsehere in the cell. The stac$ of larger vesicles is
surrounded by numerous smaller vesicles containing those pac$aged macromolecules.
The en!ymatic or hormonal contents of lysosomes, pero5isomes and secretory vesicles
are pac$aged in membrane-bound vesicles at the periphery of the 2olgi apparatus.
0ysosome# 0ysosomes contain hydrolytic en!ymes necessary for intracellular digestion.
They are common in animal cells, but rare in plant cells. 6ydrolytic en!ymes of plant
cells are more often found in the vacuole.
4ero5isome# 4ero5isomes are membrane-bound pac$ets of o5idative en!ymes. %n plant
cells, pero5isomes play a variety of roles including converting fatty acids to sugar and
assisting chloroplasts in photorespiration. %n animal cells, pero5isomes protect the cell
from its on production of to5ic hydrogen pero5ide. 's an e5ample, hite blood cells
produce hydrogen pero5ide to $ill bacteria. The o5idative en!ymes in pero5isomes brea$
don the hydrogen pero5ide into ater and o5ygen.
Secretory 7esicle# ,ell secretions - e.g. hormones, neurotransmitters - are pac$aged in
secretory vesicles at the 2olgi apparatus. The secretory vesicles are then transported to
the cell surface for release.
,ell Membrane# 1very cell is enclosed in a membrane, a double layer of phospholipids
*lipid bilayer+. The e5posed heads of the bilayer are -hydrophilic- *ater loving+,
meaning that they are compatible ith ater both ithin the cytosol and outside of the
cell. 6oever, the hidden tails of the phosopholipids are -hydrophobic- *ater fearing+,
so the cell membrane acts as a protective barrier to the uncontrolled flo of ater. The
membrane is made more comple5 by the presence of numerous proteins that are crucial to
cell activity. These proteins include receptors for odors, tastes and hormones, as ell as
pores responsible for the controlled entry and e5it of ions li$e sodium *"a8+ potassium
*98+, calcium *,a88+ and chloride *,l-+.
Mitochondria# Mitochondria provide the energy a cell needs to move, divide, produce
secretory products, contract - in short, they are the poer centers of the cell. They are
about the si!e of bacteria but may have different shapes depending on the cell type.
Mitochondria are membrane-bound organelles, and li$e the nucleus have a double
membrane. The outer membrane is fairly smooth. But the inner membrane is highly
convoluted, forming folds *cristae+ as seen in the cross-section, above. The cristae greatly
increase the inner membrane)s surface area. %t is on these cristae that food *sugar+ is
combined ith o5ygen to produce 'T4 - the primary energy source for the cell.
7acuole# ' vacuole is a membrane-bound sac that plays roles in intracellular digestion
and the release of cellular aste products. %n animal cells, vacuoles are generally small.
7acuoles tend to be large in plant cells and play several roles# storing nutrients and aste
products, helping increase cell si!e during groth, and even acting much li$e lysosomes
of animal cells. The plant cell vacuole also regulates turgor pressure in the cell. Water
collects in cell vacuoles, pressing outard against the cell all and producing rigidity in
the plant. Without sufficient ater, turgor pressure drops and the plant ilts.
,ell Wall *plant cells only+# 4lant cells have a rigid, protective cell all made up of
polysaccharides. %n higher plant cells, that polysaccharide is usually cellulose. The cell
all provides and maintains the shape of these cells and serves as a protective barrier.
:luid collects in the plant cell vacuole and pushes out against the cell all. This turgor
pressure is responsible for the crispness of fresh vegetables.
,hloroplast *plant cells only+# ,hloroplasts are speciali!ed organelles found in all higher
plant cells. These organelles contain the plant cell)s chlorophyll responsible for the plant)s
green color. ,hloroplasts have a double outer membrane. Within the stroma are other
membrane structures - the thyla$oids. Thyla$oids appear in stac$s called -grana-
*singular ; granum+.
Smooth 1ndoplasmic .eticulum# Throughout the eu$aryotic cell, especially those
responsible for the production of hormones and other secretory products, is a vast
netor$ of membrane-bound vesicles and tubules called the endoplasmic reticulum, or
1. for short. The 1. is a continuation of the outer nuclear membrane and its varied
functions suggest the comple5ity of the eu$aryotic cell.
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is so named because it appears smooth by electron
microscopy. Smooth 1. plays different functions depending on the specific cell type
including lipid and steroid hormone synthesis, brea$don of lipid-soluble to5ins in liver
cells, and control of calcium release in muscle cell contraction.
.ough 1ndoplasmic .eticulum# .ough endoplasmic reticulum appears -pebbled- by
electron microscopy due to the presence of numerous ribosomes on its surface. 4roteins
synthesi!ed on these ribosomes collect in the endoplasmic reticulum for transport
throughout the cell.
.ibosomes# .ibosomes are pac$ets of ."' and protein that play a crucial role in both
pro$aryotic and eu$aryotic cells. They are the site of protein synthesis. 1ach ribosome
comprises to parts, a large subunit and a small subunit. Messenger ."' from the cell
nucleus is moved systematically along the ribosome here transfer ."' adds individual
amino acid molecules to the lengthening protein chain.
,ytos$eleton# 's its name implies, the cytos$eleton helps to maintain cell shape. But the
primary importance of the cytos$eleton is in cell motility. The internal movement of cell
organelles, as ell as cell locomotion and muscle fiber contraction could not ta$e place
ithout the cytos$eleton. The cytos$eleton is an organi!ed netor$ of three primary
protein filaments#
- microtubules
- actin filaments *microfilaments+
- intermediate fibers