Cytoplasmic matrix

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Definition

noun, plural: cell matrices

An insoluble, dynamic gel in the cytoplasm, believed to be involved in cell shape determination and locomotive mechanism, particularly across a solid substrate. It consists of polymeric microtubules, actin microfilaments and intermediate filaments interacting with a number of other proteins.

Supplement

The cell or cytoplasmic matrix is described as a dynamic structure since it may change from fluid (sol) to elastic (gel) then back again to being fluid.


Word origin: cytoplasmic > cytoplasm + matrix > Middle English matrice, from Old French, from Late Latin mātrīx, mātrīc-, from Latin, breeding-animal, from māter, mātr-, mother.

Synonyms: