How the Endoplasmic Reticulum Plays a Vital Role in Animal Cell Function

How the Endoplasmic Reticulum Plays a Vital Role in Animal Cell Function


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 19 Feb,2024

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a complicated organelle present in all eukaryotic cells, including animal cells, plays several roles in cellular function.

The rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) is a protein synthesis organelle that appears microscopically bumpy due to the presence of ribosomes on its membrane. Proteins are manufactured in this location. To synthesize proteins for secretion, embedding in cell membranes, or packaging into certain organelles (such as rough or smooth ER), ribosomal synthesis must occur on structures attached to the ribosomal enzyme receptor (ER). Glycosylation and other post-translational modifications of proteins take place after transcription via ribosomes, which transport them into the endoplasmic lumen fold.

An important function of the endoplasmic reticulum is the storage of calcium within the cell, ensuring cellular calcium homeostasis. It contains high concentrations of calcium ions in its lumen. On release in the cytoplasm, calcium ions act as secondary messengers for various cellular activities such as muscle contraction and divisions referred to cell signaling.

Lipid Synthesis (Smooth ER):

Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum or SER lacks ribosome at its surface but helps during lipid metabolism. It also produces lipids e.g phospholipids and cholesterol needed for structural component in cell membrane. Another function performed by SER is detoxifying drugs among others harmful substances done by enzymes found on their surfaces.

Membrane Biogenesis:

The endoplasmic reticulum participates actively in biogenesis of cellular membranes mainly through phospholipid assembly which being major elements of these barriers.

Quality Control of Proteins:

Quality control mechanisms have been established within the ER for identification and degradation of improperly folded polypeptides resulting from ERAD.

Intracellular Signaling:

Intracellular signaling pathways also involve the ER. In addition, this organelle can release calcium into cytoplasm to induce cellular responses which may include muscle contraction, hormone secretion, change in gene expression and others.

Overall, the endoplasmic reticulum plays a crucial role in maintaining cellular homeostasis, protein synthesis, lipid metabolism, and intracellular signaling in animal cells. This is illustrated by its dysfunction often being accompanied with development of different diseases and disorders thereby providing insight on the importance of its related functions for cell operation as well as body’s health.

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