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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the cytoskeleton
  • Compare the roles of microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules
  • Compare and contrast cilia and flagella
  • Summarize the differences among the components of prokaryotic cells, animal cells, and plant cells

If you were to remove all the organelles from a cell, would the plasma membrane and the cytoplasm be the only components left? No. Within the cytoplasm, there would still be ions and organic molecules, plus a network of protein fibers that help maintain the shape of the cell, secure some organelles in specific positions, allow cytoplasm and vesicles to move within the cell, and enable cells within multicellular organisms to move. Collectively, this network of protein fibers is known as the cytoskeleton    . There are three types of fibers within the cytoskeleton: microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules ( [link] ). Here, we will examine each.

Microfilaments line the inside of the plasma membrane, whereas microfilaments radiate out from the center of the cell. Intermediate filaments form a network throughout the cell that holds organelles in place.
Microfilaments thicken the cortex around the inner edge of a cell; like rubber bands, they resist tension. Microtubules are found in the interior of the cell where they maintain cell shape by resisting compressive forces. Intermediate filaments are found throughout the cell and hold organelles in place.

Microfilaments

Of the three types of protein fibers in the cytoskeleton, microfilaments are the narrowest. They function in cellular movement, have a diameter of about 7 nm, and are made of two intertwined strands of a globular protein called actin ( [link] ). For this reason, microfilaments are also known as actin filaments.

This illustration shows two actin filaments wound together. Each actin filament is composed of many actin subunits connected together to form a chain.
Microfilaments are made of two intertwined strands of actin.

Actin is powered by ATP to assemble its filamentous form, which serves as a track for the movement of a motor protein called myosin. This enables actin to engage in cellular events requiring motion, such as cell division in animal cells and cytoplasmic streaming, which is the circular movement of the cell cytoplasm in plant cells. Actin and myosin are plentiful in muscle cells. When your actin and myosin filaments slide past each other, your muscles contract.

Microfilaments also provide some rigidity and shape to the cell. They can depolymerize (disassemble) and reform quickly, thus enabling a cell to change its shape and move. White blood cells (your body’s infection-fighting cells) make good use of this ability. They can move to the site of an infection and phagocytize the pathogen.

To see an example of a white blood cell in action, click here and watch a short time-lapse video of the cell capturing two bacteria. It engulfs one and then moves on to the other.

Intermediate filaments

Intermediate filaments are made of several strands of fibrous proteins that are wound together ( [link] ). These elements of the cytoskeleton get their name from the fact that their diameter, 8 to 10 nm, is between those of microfilaments and microtubules.

This illustration shows 10 intermediate filament fibers bundled together.
Intermediate filaments consist of several intertwined strands of fibrous proteins.

Intermediate filaments have no role in cell movement. Their function is purely structural. They bear tension, thus maintaining the shape of the cell, and anchor the nucleus and other organelles in place. [link] shows how intermediate filaments create a supportive scaffolding inside the cell.

Questions & Answers

what's a psy.d degree
Robin Reply
Psychology Doctorate. The main difference between PsyD and PhD Psychology is that PsyD mainly focuses on clinical sessions and PhD focuses on research.
Shrajan
so most of the phd holders become professors teaching what they have learnt
Bridget
Hi, I have a question. What factors influence social facilitation and social inhibition in groups?
Amritpal Reply
it really depends on that person on how the can task in life either they can work better with other people or you do worse working with people.
Lametra
the task
Lametra
they task
Lametra
Do you know of any studies done to show social facilitation and social inhibition
Amritpal
social facilitation is often influenced by the person's perception of the situation and their appraisal of the task. for example, a track athlete who views their competition as a challenge rather than a threat, will tend to run the fastest they have ever ran under a large crowd.
fady
Another condition is if the person has mastered the ability to perform that task. A track athlete who trains everyday, will perform above average under a large crowd, however, someone who does not run, will tend to do worse than their actual ability under a large crowd
fady
social inhibition can be explained through evolutionary biology or attachment personality theory. some people develop an avoidance personality trait, which when they feel under pressure, they tend to leave the group or avoid a gathering due to high lev of stress
fady
Does anyone know how I can transfer my higher national diploma credits in usa?
Qwanta Reply
Oh wow. I never realised there was a chat on this app!
Amritpal Reply
Then welcome dearest
Bridget
Thank you! ❤️
Amritpal
thank you
Ana
Hello Ana, good afternoon from here
Philip Reply
hello im new student here.
Junalyn Reply
o sorry madm
Rai
hello
Rai
I m also student.
Rai
hi
Kavya
what is easier option to psychology?
Dhanaraj
I'm new too
Deniz
As in the the specialisation or ?
Bridget
good morning
Ana
understanding human nature is what we are going to talk about.
Ana
okay, go ahead
Philip
“ Every child is left to evaluate his experiences for himself, and to take care of his own personal development outside the classroom. There is no tradition for the acquisition of a true knowledge of the human psyche. The science of human nature thus finds itself today in the position that chemis
Ana
well, I think every individual is different and to a great extent we can't say confidently that we understand the human nature in its entirety
Philip
lack determines what we will become in life?.
Ana
Not 100% but it plays a huge role
Philip
Hi! I wasn't aware there was a chat feature on this app 😊
Ophelia
👍Philip Anyaegbu
Ana
cool
Ana
👍
Ana
yes Ana I'm here
Philip
alternatively we are different, we have basic similar qualities
Bridget
Yes true Bridget.
Philip
hello there
Ciel
Hi
Philip
hi
Ej
hi
KUNDAN
hi
Ana
who we are how we think what we do insight
Ana
@ bridget. yes that's true
Ana
Ana ioanidis? do you speak Greek?
Qwanta
Qwanta no I dont speak Greek my husband does
Ana
are you a psychologist? or your husband?
Qwanta
I need some reliable informations about my studies...
Qwanta
not a psychologist
Ana
I ask questions
Ana
so what is the cause why a person experiences a psychological disorder if it not of their own?
Junalyn Reply
it's partly genetics,culture, environment and substance abuse. generally these are the common factors which can lead to most of the disorders
war
waoo
Rai
r u proficcer
Rai
u r psychology subject
Rai
not a professor but a clinical psychologist
war
can i ask you, i keep getting headache, and had a history of hypothyroid ans diagnosed as having mild anxiety disorder. i want to finish. my undergraduate psychology thesis.. but always unable to have good ambition and energy to focus on writing the case and the theories... whats the best remedy
Astaroxche
had a headache and have a history
Ana
297 according to the DSM 5
fady
how many disorders are there
Janareon Reply
interesting question
Mahmoud
it is😅
Nelly
I'm guessing it's in the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds if you include counter interactions and stuff like it. although I'm sure it's almost impossible to know for sure, unless you're very rich and connected to the right people. but as I said: guessing.
Beenie
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are: clinical depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal. that is what I think
Mahmoud
too difficult to number. diagnosing a disorder is just checking off boxes on a compilation of symptoms that might match any particular condition on the DSM
what is psychology of the guest
Lirilong Reply
I don't understand the question can you elaborate?
Edgar
the study of philosophy gives to the sociologist
Aman Reply
why women are viewed as far more emotional than men?
Wario Reply
because they actually are ,I guess.
Collins
May be they are biologically milder than man. It does not mean they are not equal with man. Man can also be emotional and can are oppressed with traditional norms. For example, man are not to be cry, in actual man are also emotional being and they cannot have the right to show their sentiment.
shine
sollungal bro sollungal...
Balaji
because of she has hormonal fluctuations than men..
bavi
usually women are more emotional than men and they are multi talented people
lavanya
Both men and women are capable of expressing emotions. But women has the highest percentage of doing that. Because our society is conditioned by nature in such a way that men are expected to suppress their emotions and motivate them through their acts or thoughts, which has it's side effects of....
Santos
denial of any emotion which they feel that useless at that point. Women in the other hand were encouraged/not controlled to suppress their emotions and let them out what they feel about it. I feel that's the wonderful superpower of the women.
Santos
y
Mahmoud
Men's emotion comes mostly with memories triggered by senses. That means, they thoughts have the power to decide whether to let go of emotions or not.
Santos
Q
Mark
because women tend to be more agreeable than men.
Edgar
women at a young age are conditioned to be more in tune with emotion than man should be less
David
The question is "Why women Viewed are as far more emotional than men ?" it's not a question whether women are more emotional than men. This is more an issue about the point of view from the observer, his/her assumption what emotional behavior is or what emotional behavior is.
Mehmet
The anwers are answers more to the question " Are women more emotional than men?"
Mehmet
hi are you on what'sap
Wunuji Reply
no not really a fan of social laziness
Robert
huh
Parmizan
is there any way for a Btech E.C.E. graduate to take on MSC. PSYCHOLOGY
devesh
ya you can just by cracking entrance , if in India
Mansi
Any stream in UG can go for M.Sc (Psychology)
classification of traits and how they are measured
chinedu Reply
what was Freud's first name?
Robin Reply
Sigmund
Dentriodite
sigmund
Margie
Sigismund Schlomo Freud
Mohammad
Sigmund Freud
Talal
sigmund
Ankita
Leon Vygotsky and Sergei Rubenstein please tell me contributions of these personalities in in 4 lines
Uzma
sigmund Freud
Harpreet
Lev Vygotsky was the founder of socio-cultural theory
Jo
So psychology was based off of the Greek gods I that right or no?
Tanya Reply
psychology is the study. anything -ology is the study of a certain field. Psyche is a mortal woman who becomes divine in Greek mythology. The etymology of the word "psyche" in Greek means "spirit" or "soul"
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Source:  OpenStax, Cell structure & Function (gpc). OpenStax CNX. Feb 26, 2014 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11583/1.3
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