Related topics: cells

Cell 'quakes' may help cells respond to the outside world

Animal cells get their structural integrity from their cytoskeleton, a shapeshifting mesh of filaments inside a cell that helps the cell organize its structure and communicate with its environment. A few years ago, scientists ...

The skeleton of the malaria parasite reveals its secrets

Plasmodium is the parasite causing malaria, one of the deadliest parasitic diseases. The parasite requires two hosts —the Anopheles mosquito and the human— to complete its life cycle and goes through different forms at ...

Researchers gain insight into the biology of a deadly fungus

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have gained new insight into the biological processes of a chytrid fungus responsible for a deadly skin infection devastating frog populations worldwide.

Human white blood cells use molecular paddles to swim

Human white blood cells, known as leukocytes, swim using a newly described mechanism called molecular paddling, researchers report in the September 15th issue of Biophysical Journal. This microswimming mechanism could explain ...

The tug-of-war at the heart of cellular symmetry

Symmetry and asymmetry are fundamental properties of nature. Seen from above, butterflies have left-right symmetry, while male fiddler crabs show dramatic asymmetry. This is also the case for the fundamental units of life: ...

Molecular scissors stabilize the cell's cytoskeleton

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen, Switzerland, have for the first time elucidated the structure of important enzymes in human cells that alter essential building blocks of the cellular cytoskeleton. ...

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Cytoskeleton

The cytoskeleton (also CSK) is a cellular "scaffolding" or "skeleton" contained within a cell's cytoplasm and is made out of protein. The cytoskeleton is present in all cells; it was once thought to be unique to eukaryotes, but recent research has identified the prokaryotic cytoskeleton. It has structures such as flagella, cilia and lamellipodia and plays important roles in both intracellular transport (the movement of vesicles and organelles, for example) and cellular division. In 1903 Nikolai K Koltsov proposed that the shape of cells was determined by a network of tubules which he termed the cytoskeleton. The concept of a protein mosaic that dynamically coordinated cytoplasmic biochemistry was proposed by Rudolph Peters in 1929 while the term (cytosquelette, in French) was first introduced by French embryologist Paul Wintrebert in 1931.

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