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cells for Cappelletti classes


a part of the broader discipline of cell biology

cell biology

the study of cells that incorporates aspects of biology, chemistry, and physics

sex cells or germ cells

the sperm of males or the oocytes of females

somatic cells

(soma means body) includes all the other cells in the human body

extracellular fluid

a watery medium surrounding a cell

interstitial fluid

(interstitium means something standing in between) extracellular fluid in most tissues

cell membrane (or plasma membrane)

surface of the cell that separates the inside of the cell from the surrounding extracellular fluid, controls the entry or elimination of ions, nutrients, and waste. Also is the first part of the cell affected by its surroundings and gives stability to tissues

phospholipid bilayer

makes up the cell membrane, and contains other lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates

integral proteins

part of the membrane itself and are commonly transmembrane proteins

peripheral proteins

are attached to, but are able to separate from, the membrane

anchoring proteins

attach the cell membrane to other structures and stabilize its position

recognition proteins

the cells of the immune system recognize other cells as normal or abnormal based on the presence or absence of these

receptor proteins

sensitive to the presence of specific extracellular molecules called ligands


anything from a small ion to a relatively large and complex hormone

carrier proteins

bind solutes and transport them across the cell membrane


a central pore of an integral protein that forms a passageway completely across the cell membrane


formed by the carbohydrate portions of the proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycolipids. Functions include lubrication and protection, anchoring and locomotion, specificity in binding, and recognition


material located between the cell membane and the membrane surrounding the nucleus


intracellular fluid that contains dissolved nutrients, ions, soluble and insoluble proteins, and waste products


structures suspended within the cytosol that perform specific functions within the cell


masses of insoluble materials in the cytosol

nonmembranous organelles

not completely enclosed by membranes and all of their components are in direct contact with the cytosol

membranous organelles

isolated from the cytosol by phospholipid membranes, just as the cell membrane isolates the cytosol from the extracellular fluid


provides an internal protein framework that gives the cytoplasm strength and flexibility


as the smallest of the cytoskeletal elements, they are less than 6nm (nanometers) in diameter


form the microfilaments

intermediate filaments

range from 7-11nm in diameter, and strengthen the cell and help maintain its shape, stabilize the positions of organelles, and stabilize the position of the cell with respect to surrounding cells through specialized attachment to the cell membrane


hollow tubes built from the globular protein tubulin


globular protein that makes up microtubles

thick filaments

relatively massive bundles of subunits composed of the protein myosin that can reach 15nm in diameter


protein that makes up thick filaments


small, finger-shaped projections of the cell membrane on their exposed surfaces


cylindrical structures composed of short microtubles, usually exist in pairs


the cytoplasm surrounding the centrioles, the heart of the cytoskeletal system


relatively long, slender extensions of the cell membrane

basal body

anchors microtubles just beneath the cell surface


the organelles responsible for protein synthesis

small and large ribosomal subunits

subunits of a functional ribosome that are often separate and distinct

Free ribosomes

scattered throughout the cytoplasm, the proteins they manufacture enter the cytosol

Fixed ribosomes

attached to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER- membranous organelle), proteins are modified and packaged for secretion


organelles that contain an assortment of protein-digesting enzymes, or proteases

Endoplasmic Reticulum

a network of intracellular membranes connected to the nuclear envelope, which surrounds the nucleus


chambers that act as a reservoir for water

smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER)

a part of the endoplasmic reticulum that contains no ribosomes

rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER)

functions as a combination workshop and shipping depost for proteins, rough refers to the fact that it contains ribosomes

transport vesicles

membranous sacs that dliver their contens to the Golgi apparatus

Golgi apparatus

consists of 5 or 6 flattened cisternae that modifies and packages secretions, renews or modifies the cell membrane, and packages special nzymes within vesicles for use in the cytosol

Secretory vesicles

contain secretions that will be discharged from the cell these vesicles will perform exocytosis (fusing with the plasma membrane to empty contents)


special vesicles that provide an isolated environment for potentially dangerous chemical reactions


a process in which enzymes rapidly destroy the cell's proteins and organelles


absorb and break down fatty acids and other organic compounds

membrane flow

a continuous exchange between the ER, Golgi apparatus, and the cell membrane


produce energy for the cell


numerous folds in the inner membrane of a mitochondrion


the surface area exposed to fluids, where the production of energy takes place, in a mitochondrion


the first step of ATP production


the largest and most conspicuous structure in a cell; under a light microscope, it is often the only organelle visible

aerobic metabolism

the fact that mitochondrial activity requires oxygen

tricarboxylic acid cycle (or TCA cycle)

also known as the Krebs Cycle, is an enzymatic pathway that systematically breaks down the absorbed pyruvic acid in the presence of oxygen

nuclear envelope

surrounds the nucleus and separates it from the cytosol

perinuclear space

a narrow space between the double membrane of the nuclear envelope

nuclear pores

where the chemical communication between the nucleus and the cytosol takes place

nuclear matrix

a network of fine filaments that provides structural support and may be involved in the regulation of genetic activity


dark-staining organelles that synthesize rRNA


proteins that make up nucleoli


complex that occurs at intervals where the DNA strands wind around the histones


a tangle of loosely coiled, fine filaments that cells that are not dividing


the distinct structures of tightly coiled chromatin taht appear just before cell division begins

genetic code

the chemical "language" of the cell


the functional unit of heredity and it contains all the DNA triplets needed to produce specific proteins

gene activation

the factors controlling the process of uncoiling the DNA prior to "reading"

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