Describe the structural compartmentation of mammalian cells

1517 words 7 pages
All mammalian cells are eukaryotic, and whilst the eukaryotic type of cell is not exclusive to mammals, mammalian cells differ from other eukaryotic cells because of the organelles that are or are not present. For instance some plant cells have chloroplasts which are not present in mammalian cells, but both plant cells and mammalian cells are eukaryotic in nature. The term eukaryotic refers to the cell having specific membrane bound organelles, which are not present in prokaryotic cells. The defining feature of a eukaryotic cell is usually its membrane bound nucleus (the exception being the red blood cell) [1].
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The release of calcium ions required for muscle contraction, in accordance with the sliding filament theory, also comes from the smooth ER.

The Golgi apparatus is a stack of flattened, membrane bound sacks, and has many vesicles associated with it. Due to the ability of phospholipid bilayers to fuse, soluble proteins and membrane molecules can pass from one side of the Golgi apparatus to the other, through the stacks of membranes [6]. Enzymes, anchored within specific layers of the Golgi apparatus by transmembrane anchors, modify the amino acid chains into a tertiary structure. The modified proteins are then separated depending on where their final destination is.

The mitochondria are organelles separate from the synthesis of proteins, but they are still large, both in importance, complexity and actual size. The number of mitochondrion in a cell differs dependent of independent cell function, for example a goblet cell will use lots of ATP in the secretion of mucus, and will there for have a large amount of mitochondria in the cell. A single mitochondrion itself has two structurally and functionally distinct membranes. The outer membrane is a smooth phospholipid bilayer which envelopes the entire organelle. The inner membrane, whilst following the outer membrane around the majority of the organelle, has lots of cristae. These cristae are long finger-like extensions from the inner membrane into the centre of the organelle. This causes the