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Introduction to cytoskeleton

Created by Efrat Bruck.

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  • blobby green style avatar for user agrahm21
    Are the intermediate filaments attached to the cell membrane?
    (6 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Andrew Shanholtzer
    This video is very informative. I've always had a problem differentiating the purposes of the different cytoskeleton parts. Does anybody know any good mnemonics for keeping the functions straight?
    (4 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Sufyan Hashmi
    does the cytoskeleton use ATP to move?
    (3 votes)
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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user SquidTheDan
    Shouldn't there be something on motor proteins here? If not, I've still found this incredibly informative and useful! Thank you so much!
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Ramseychanlim
    Can someone explain the 'internal' movement caused by microfilament?
    (1 vote)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user Joshdpking
      Another example that most people will be familiar with is the contraction of muscle cells. I think I learned about muscle contraction in grade 12 bio and it is in my MCAT review books, so I imagine you can find a detailed explanation in most bio textbooks. Maybe check the index for actin and myosin. She is talking about basically the same process.
      (2 votes)
  • leaf orange style avatar for user Oyuna Nataa
    Are the cytoskeleton and it's three types (microtubules, microfilaments and intermediate filaments) only in animal cell? If so then why isn't it in plant cell?
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Darmon
      Microtubules and microfilaments are present both in animal and in plant cells, because they orchestrate many ubiquitous functions such as mitosis and intracellular transport. Intermediate filaments, however, are far less common in plant species due to the fact that the latter rely on rigid cell walls to provide stress resistance. They also typically do not contain highly mobile tissues, such as muscle tissue, and therefore do not require intermediate filaments to connect them. :)
      (2 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Tara Persaud Holmes
    Is it just me or are the intro to cytoskeleton and microtubules videos switched?
    (1 vote)
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    • leafers tree style avatar for user Amber Dawn
      I have been having problems with this as well. All of the videos are switched when I click on play next video or even if I click on the next video itself. It will reset itself if you click refresh. Hopefully they fix this glitch soon!
      (1 vote)
  • duskpin tree style avatar for user Asia Aaron
    If this is the cytoskeleton, how come the cell membrane is mentioned? Is the cell membrane included in the cytoskeleton?
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    • mr pink red style avatar for user Tijani
      No, the cell membrane is not included in the cytoskeleton. It was mentioned so we get some understanding of where the cytoskeletal structures are located within the cell. I would assume the ends of the cytoskeletal structures touch the cell membrane since they "push" it during ameboid motion (microfilament), help the cell retain its shape (intermediate filament), and help transport products from inside the cell to the cell membrane which would do exocytosis (microtubules). I hope I answered your question.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user liatdayan1965
    Is cytoskeleton only in animal cell? Not plant cells?
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  • mr pink red style avatar for user munirarahimi2022
    Hello, could you send me some home work.
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Let's talk about the cytoskeleton, and when we look at the word, we see skeleton, and the prefix cyto means cell. So, cytoskeleton simply means the skeleton of the cell, and although pretty much all cells have some form or another of a cytoskeleton, we're going to focus mainly on the cytoskeleton that's found in animal cells. So the cytoskeleton in cells serves purposes that are actually very similar to the purposes that our skeleton serves in our body. So the first thing is the cytoskeleton provides structural support. Number two, the cytoskeleton helps with movement, and number three, it helps with the transport of substances within the cell. These are the three basic functions of the cytoskeleton, but as we go along there are a couple of others that are going to come up as well. So now let's take a look at a cross section of a cell, and let's orient ourselves and label this diagram. So right over here we have the cell membrane. Then we have some mitochondria. We have the endoplasmic reticulum, and you can see it's dotted with these blue things. Those represent ribosomes. And finally let's get to the structures of the cytoskeleton. So we're going to go through the various structures, explain briefly what each of them do, and then afterwards we're going to go into each one separately and in more detail. The first structure we're going to mention are these green tubes that you see. These are the microtubules, and they have a diameter of approximately 25 nanometers, and the microtubules are involved in a number of things. They're involved in the mitotic spindle. If you're not sure what that is, we're going to discuss it in more detail later. The microtubules also make up cilia. Cilia are these hairlike projections outside of a cell that will help to sweep substances across the outside of the cell. They also make up flagella. Flagella are these tail-like structures that are outside of a cell and help move it. And again, if you're not really familiar with this, don't worry. We're going to go into it in more detail soon. And microtubules also help with transport of substances within a cell. The next structure we're going to talk about are these blue fiber-like things. They are the intermediate filaments, and they have a diameter of approximately 10 nanometers. And I want you to take a look at the diagram that's a cross section of a cell and see if you can maybe figure out what the purpose of the intermediate filaments is. So, the intermediate filaments basically provide structural support to the cell. And maybe a way to help you think about this is, we can compare this picture that we're looking at to a mattress. So we'll say that the cell membrane on either side is kind of like the top and bottom of a mattress, and let's say that mattress was filled only with air, maybe some other stuff that were really not hard, and if you sat on the mattress, maybe there's a hole somewhere in the mattress, some of the air might come out, and then when you got up, the mattress might be in a very flattened position. However, most mattresses have these metal springs inside. So, you sit on the mattress, it gets a little bit flatter, but then when you stand up, the mattress goes back to its original position. So those springs inside are providing structural support. So the intermediate filaments provide structural support in a very similar way. We can see that they help resist mechanical stress and help the cell retain the shape that they're supposed to have, in a way that's very similar to the springs in the inside of a mattress. And the last structure we're going to mention are these purple tubes. They are the microfilaments, and they have a diameter of approximately seven nanometers. And just keep in mind that microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules are all made out of protein. And microfilaments are involved in movement of the cell, and this is a movement that's different than the movement that would be provided by cilia and flagella. Cilia and flagella are both outside of the cell, and microfilaments help movement of the entire cell from within. So let's give two examples of this. One example is during cell division this cell will turn into something that looks like this. So it's going to be kind of pinched in the middle, and then eventually it'll separate into two separate cells. So how does the cell kind of move in that way and form the interesting shape? Well, with the help of the microfilaments. Another example of this would be amoeba, and amoeba's not exactly an animal, but we'll mention it anyway. So an amoeba has these projections known as pseudopods, and it will engulf a piece of food. The pseudopods will kind of reach out, engulf a piece of food, and that's how it ingests food. But how do those pseudopods move? With the help of microfilaments. And this applies to other cells that are not necessarily amoeba but move like amoeba and have pseudopods. They also move with the help of microfilaments.