The Cytoskeleton

  • Mary Osborn
  • Klaus Weber
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 127)


The cell is a macromolecular organization where the whole seems greater than the sum of the parts. Cells contain a cytoskeleton, made from microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments, which together with the nucleus remains behind if cells are treated with certain detergents. Cells commit 10–40% of their proteins to these structures, and currently some 50–100 proteins which either form or bind to these structures have been characterized. The elements of the cytoskeleton interconnect and form a three-dimensional network. Cytoplasmic organelles and enzymes, such as ribosomes, motochondria, glycolytic enzymes, and calmodulin, may be bound at least transiently to particular cytoskeletal fibers. Receptors and transmembrane proteins may also be in intimate contact with the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is often in a dynamic and continually changing state, although microscopy gives only static snapshots of its three-dimensional dynamic components.


Intermediate Filament Glycolytic Enzyme Cytoskeletal Network Single Microtubule Inverted Membrane Vesicle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Osborn
    • 1
  • Klaus Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Biophysical ChemistryD-34 GoettingenGermany

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