Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.
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So here's the conundrum - the cytoskeleton is a network of protein polymers (most of which are filamentous) which gives cells shape and support, but many cells have to move, grow, or divide. Thus, it wouldn't be useful to have a static "skeleton". Therefore, the actin and microtubules (the two primary polymers of the cytoskeleton) have to be both strong and be able to change. Some of the ways these filaments can change include - moving within the cell, getting longer or shorter, changing their "connections" each other, and with other parts of the cell. Thus, actin and microtubules are in fact very dynamic in many types of cells. If you watch them in a microscope, you can actually see the changes over time The cytoskeleton is involved in many cellular processes, including cell polarity, mitosis/meiosis (cell division), cell migration, growth and differentiation, and mutations in the cytoskeleton and their associated proteins underly many diseases. For example, one cancer drug called Taxol stabilizes microtubules as a way to prevent cancer cells from dividing. In short, the cytoskeleton is a very fundamental and vital part of everyday cell function.
I don't think the cytoskeleton was discovered by one person. It was probably one of those ideas that developed slowly and accumulated evidence bit by bit, which happenned mostly in the mid 1900's (although I should probably have a better idea since I work on it!)
Hope that's not too much info!
PS - for some cool quicktime movies, check out these sites:
In summary it enables realization of every kind of biological move where energy is needed. Cytoskeleton is able to transform chemical energy to kinetic energy. For example - it enables flow of cytoplazma, move of organels, chromosomes, flagellas, amoeboid move or in neurons move of intracellular substantions.
In muscles this function expanded to the highest effectiveness.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
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