Cytoplasm Function


The cytoplasm function is a topic that’s usually not taken into serious consideration. But the fact is it should be given notice because the cell is the basic unit of life and the cytoplasm comprises about 80% of the cell.

What is cytoplasm ?

The cell has 3 major parts, the membrane, the cytoplasm and the nucleus. The nucleus is in the centermost part of the cell, followed by the cytoplasm, then the outer shell which is the membrane.

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The important function of the cytoplasm of the cell is it takes in important vitamins and minerals and helps eliminate the toxins that attempt to get inside the cell. The cytoplasm is a clear fluid or gel like substance found within the cell. It is made up of various essential materials such as vitamins, nucleic acids, sugar, carbohydrates and amino acids among others. It is also in the cytoplasm where the cell’s organelles like the mitochondria, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are suspended.

Functions of the Cytoplasm 

The cytoplasm has three basic compositions, the cytosol or the water like fluid, the organelles and essential particles that include vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, among others. Each component greatly helps in the cytoplasm function. The following are the common functions of the cytoplasm:

  • The cytosol assists in the cytoplasm function of holding together the organelles in the cell. Because of its consistency, the organelles cannot be easily detached or move from one cell to the other.
  • The cytoplasm also serves to maintain the structure of the whole and retain its circular shape. It also helps in the transport of important molecules inside the cell.
  • Furthermore, the cytoplasm likewise absorbs essential vitamins and nutrients which are fundamental in doing the basic bodily functions and aid in maintaining good health.
  • Important cellular activities, such as the replication and the growth of the cell happen inside the cytoplasm.
  • The cell’s mitochondrion is aided by the cytoplasm by breaking down the large molecules of glucose into a form that the mitochondria can utilize as energy.
  • The cytoplasm also plays a great role in glycolysis, or the breakdown of sugar, and the, or the build up of enzymes and amino acids.
  • Lastly, another important cytoplasm function is its assistance with protein synthesis, as well as in cytokinesis or cell division.

 Important Organelles within the Cytoplasm 

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Within the gel-like fluid of the cytoplasm are the different organelles of the cell. These organelles significantly contribute in the cytoplasm function. Listed below are the important organelles suspended and found in the cytoplasm:

  • Endoplasmic reticulum – The endoplastic reticulum is mainly involved in protein, oil or lipid synthesis, as well as in the metabolism of carbohydrates, storage of glucose and the manufacture of some natural steroids in the body.
  • Mitochondria – These are also referred to as the cells’ power plants as these organelles provide energy to the cell. The mitochondria would supply the cell’s adenosine triphosphate, which serves as the cell’s chemical energy which is essential for the cell to be able to perform its various functions. The mitochondria are also responsible for cellular differentiation, the growth of the cell, and even the death of the cell.
  • Lysosomes – The lysosomes have the ability to break down waste products because they contain the acid, hydrolase. These organelles would eat or digest viruses, bacteria, dead organelles and food particles. In general, they aid in the health of the cell and its protection from foreign materials.
  • Golgi apparatus – The Golgi apparatus is an important part of the cytoplasm because it serves as the manufacturer of the complete and finished product of proteins before these are transported to other parts of the body. Aside from that, the Golgi apparatus is also responsible for the break down and modification of the macromolecules of the cell so that it could be transported for cell secretion.

The aforementioned are the important organelles in the cytoplasm that help the cell perform its essential functions. These organelles are basically what keep the cell alive and working.

A Cell with an Irregular Cytoplasm 

Could a cell survive if it has an abnormal or an irregular cytoplasm? Since the cytoplasm basically functions to support the cell in relation to the supply of energy, transport of proteins and other molecules, and the protection of the cell from foreign matter that threats one’s health, the chances of survival of a person with an irregular cytoplasm are very thin. The person could die instantly if the cytoplasms of his/her cells are not functioning properly. There are advanced medical treatments that include cytoplasm transplant which could help in the survival of the person. However, the success rate of this method is low, and notwithstanding the fact that it also costs too much.

In general, the main cytoplasm function is to help maintain a healthy cell in order for the body to function more normally. It also houses the different organelles which play key roles for the cell’s purpose and survival.

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