Cytoplasm

Parts of a Cell

A cell is the building block of an organism and it is a highly organized unit. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells of different types. Each different kind of cell performs a specific function but their structure is almost similar. Every cell has a cell membrane which is the outer layer of the cell to protect its internal components. The cells also have a cytoplasm which is a jelly-like fluid which fills the inside of the cell and surrounds all internal structures.

What is Cytoplasm?

Cytoplasm is a semi-fluid substance of the cell which lies inside the cell membrane and external to the nuclear membrane. It is also considered as the nonnuclear content of the protoplasm. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm contains all the organelles of a cell other than the nucleus. Mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, cytosol, cytoskeleton, lysosomes, and peroxisomes are a few among those organelles. It is made up of 70-90 percent water and is usually colorless and have a jelly-like consistency.

There is a difference between prokaryotic cell cytoplasm and eukaryotic cell cytoplasm. In the cells which possess a nucleus, cytoplasm is anything between the cell membrane and nuclear membrane. But, in the case of a prokaryotic cell, cytoplasm means everything found within the plasma membrane. Cytosol is the major component of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell. Cytoplasm contains membrane-bound organelles. The cytoskeleton is also a part of the cytoplasm which is a network of fibers which gives the cell its shape and organize cellular components. It also contains many macromolecules like sugars, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, amino acids and fatty acids. Many metabolic reactions, like proteins synthesis, takes place in the cytoplasm.

Functions of the Cytoplasm

  • It is a site for many biochemical reactions that are vital for life
  • Provides shape to the cell
  • Provides a medium for different cellular organelles to remain suspended
  • Aids in the movement of organelles
  • Prevents the grouping of organelles due to gravity, so they can function properly
  • It is a place where cell expands and growth of cell occurs
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