In order to fully understand the meaning of the term cytoskeleton, it is necessary, first of all, to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from Greek as it is the result of the following Greek components:
-The noun “cito”, which is synonymous with “cell”.
-The word “skeletos”, which comes to refer to the “skeleton”, that is, the set of bones in the body of vertebrates that comes to protect the internal organs.
The cytoskeleton is a system composed of protein which is in the cells and that enables cell displacement. This framework also contributes to the organization of the cell’s structures, providing support for it to retain its shape.
Many of the functions of the cell, in fact, they are developed thanks to the presence of the cytoskeleton. In addition to mobility it also allows, for example, the cellular division.
Among the cytoskeletal components of eukaryotic cells we find the microtubules, the intermediate filaments and the microfilaments. The microtubules, which are developed in the extension of cytoplasm, arise through the polymerization of beta and alpha tubulin proteins.
Of the microtubules we can highlight another series of aspects of interest such as the following:
-They are tube-shaped and have a size of between 20 to 25 millimeters in diameter.
-They perform a fundamental task when it comes to getting the vesicles and organelles to move.
-They come to grow from the centrosome to the periphery of the cell in question.
-What is the external movement of the cell is achieved through flagella and cilia.
The intermediate filaments of the cytoskeleton are considered the most stable elements in the cytoskeleton. Desmin, vimentin and cytokeratin are some of the proteins that compose it. As for the microfilaments, they present a couple of chains of actin that bind into a helix.
In the same way, we cannot ignore another series of proteins that make up the intermediate filaments. We are referring to some such as nestin, nuclear laminae or glial fibrillary acid protein, which is also known by the name of GFAP.
In addition to these filaments, we can highlight the fact that they have about 10 millimeters in diameter and that they are responsible for giving the cell tensile strength.
Regarding the cytoskeleton of the prokaryotic cells, at first it was thought that it did not exist. However, with the weather Structures similar to those of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells were detected.
The so-called prokaryotic cytoskeleton, therefore, is made up of the various structural filaments of this cell type. As in eukaryotes, the cytoskeleton is involved in functions such as shape maintenance and cell division. Crescentin, MreB and FtsZ are the components of the cytoskeleton in the cells of organisms prokaryotes.