Pollard, Thomas D. Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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- Principles of assembly
- Organization and assembly of organelles
- Protein synthesis by ribosomes
- Endoplasmic reticulum
- Golgi apparatus
- Plasma membrane
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The organizing and compartmentation of eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells are divided into several compartments, and each compartment has a characteristic structure, biochemical composition, and function (Fig. 1). These compartments are called organelles. They are delimited by membranes composed of phospholipid bilayers and various proteins specialized for each type of organelle. All eukaryotic cells have a nucleus surrounded by a nuclear envelope, and a plasma membrane that borders the whole cell. Most eukaryotic cells also have a Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. Plant cells have chloroplasts (cell plastids) for photosynthesis, in addition to the organelles that they share with animal cells. Organelles are suspended in a gel-like cytoplasmic matrix composed of three types of protein polymers—actin filaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments. Collectively, these polymers and their associated proteins are called the cytoskeleton, although they are much more dynamic than the bones of the skeleton. In addition to holding the cell together, the actin filaments and microtubules act as tracks for several different types of motor proteins that are responsible for cell motility and organelle movements within the cytoplasm. See also: Cell (biology); Cell biology; Cell membrane; Cell motility; Cytoplasm; Eukaryota
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