Cytoskeleton- Definition, Structure, Functions and Diagram


The cytoskeleton is a network of protein fibers that extends throughout the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. The word "cytoskeleton" comes from the Greek words "kytos", meaning "cell", and "skeletos", meaning "skeleton". The cytoskeleton provides structural support, shape, and movement to the cell and its organelles. It also plays important roles in cell division, signaling, and transport.

The cytoskeleton is composed of three main types of filaments: microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments. Each type of filament has a different structure, function, and distribution in the cell. The cytoskeleton is not a static structure, but rather a dynamic and adaptable one that can change in response to the needs of the cell. The cytoskeleton can assemble and disassemble its filaments, rearrange them into different patterns, and interact with other proteins and molecules.

The cytoskeleton is essential for the survival and function of eukaryotic cells. It enables cells to maintain their shape and integrity, resist mechanical stress, and adapt to different environments. It also allows cells to perform complex movements such as crawling, swimming, and contracting. Furthermore, it facilitates the transport of materials and signals within and between cells. The cytoskeleton is involved in many cellular processes such as cell growth, differentiation, communication, and death.

In this article, we will explore the structure, functions, and diagram of the cytoskeleton in more detail. We will also introduce a fourth component of the cytoskeleton called the microtrabecular lattice. We will start by describing the microtubules and their functions in the next section.