The cytoskeleton is the skeleton of the cell.
Structure of the cytoskeleton
The cytoskeleton is a filamentous network within a cell giving it its mechanical properties. It contains many types of filaments in eukaryotes:
- flexible polymerised actin filaments and ;
- small, so-called intermediary filaments (the role of which is poorly understood) ;
- rigid microtubules .
Function of the cytoskeleton
The cytoskeleton provides the cell with a degree of rigidity and is used to fix the organelles (the equivalent to the cell as the organs in the body).
The cytoskeleton reorganises itself continuously and therefore controls internal movements (for example movement of chromosomes) and deformations of the membrane (production of protuberances, invaginations and adhesion sites, etc.)
The parts of the cytoskeleton can be labelled with fluorescent proteins. Here, actin is shown in red and the microtubules in green (and the nucleus in blue). © DR