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Endoplasmic Reticulum

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle of cells in eukaryotic
organisms that forms an interconnected network of membrane vesicles.
The lacy membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum were first seen in the
year 1945.
According to the structure the endoplasmic reticulum is classified into two
types, that is, rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and smooth
endoplasmic reticulum (SER).
For extra, sarcoplasmic reticulum is the smooth ER found in smooth and
striated muscle fibers. It stores and releases calcium ions.
The rough endoplasmic reticulum is studded with ribosomes on the
cytosolic face. These are the sites of protein synthesis.The rough
endoplasmic reticulum is predominantly found in hepatocytes where
protein synthesis occurs actively.
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is a smooth network without the
ribosomes. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is concerned with lipid
metabolism , carbohydrate metabolism and detoxification. The smooth
endoplasmic reticulum is abundantly found in mammalian testis.
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Smooth Endoplasmic
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Rough Endoplasmic
The Structure of
Smooth E.R

Smooth ER is more tubular than rough ER and forms a separate sealed
interconnecting network. It is found fairly evenly distributed throughout the cytoplasm.
It is not studded with ribosomes hence 'smooth ER'.

Smooth ER is devoted almost exclusively to the manufacture of lipids
and in some cases to the metabolism of them and associated products.

In liver cells for example smooth ER enables glycogen that is stored as
granules on the external surface of smooth ER to be broken down to

Smooth ER is also involved in the production of steroid hormones in the
adrenal cortex and endocrine glands.
Smooth ER:
The Detox stop
Smooth ER also plays a large part in detoxifying a number of organic
chemicals converting them to safer water-soluble products.
Large amounts of smooth ER are found in liver cells where one of its main
functions is to detoxify products of natural metabolism and to endeavour to
detoxify overloads of ethanol derived from excess alcoholic drinking and also
barbiturates from drug overdose.
To assist with this, smooth ER can double its surface area within a few days,
returning to its normal size when the assault has subsided.
The contraction of muscle cells is triggered by the orderly release of
calcium ions. These ions are released from the smooth endoplasmic
The Structure of Rough Endoplasmic

This is an extensive organelle composed of a greatly convoluted but flattish sealed sac
that is continuous with the nuclear membrane.
It is called 'rough' endoplasmic reticulum because it is studded on its outer surface (the surface
in contact with the cytosol) with ribosomes.
These are called membrane bound ribosomes and are firmly attached to the outer
cytosolic side of the ER About 13 million ribosomes are present on the RER in the average
liver cell. Rough ER is found throughout the cell but the density is higher near the nucleus and
the Golgi apparatus.
Ribosomes on the rough endoplasmic reticulum are called 'membrane bound' and are
responsible for the assembly of many proteins. This process is called translation.

The rough ER working with membrane bound ribosomes takes polypeptides and amino acids
from the cytosol and continues protein assembly including, at an early stage, recognising a
'destination label' attached to each of them.

Proteins are produced for the plasma membrane, Golgi apparatus, secretory vesicles, plant
vacuoles, lysosomes, endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum itself.

In the lumen some proteins have sugar groups added to them to form glycoproteins. Some have
metal groups added to them. It is in the rough ER for example that four polypeptide chains are
brought together to form haemoglobin.

It is in the lumen of the rough ER that proteins are folded to produce the
highly important biochemical architecture which will provide 'lock and
key' and other recognition and linking sites.
It is also in the lumen that an amazing process of quality control checking
is carried out. Proteins are subjected to a quality control check and any that
are found to be incorrectly formed or incorrectly folded are rejected.
These rejects are stored in the lumen or sent for recycling for eventual
breakdown to amino acids.
A type of emphysema (a lung problem) is caused by the ER quality
control section continually rejecting an incorrectly folded protein. The
protein is wrongly folded as a result of receiving an altered genetic
The required protein is never exported from the lumen of rough ER.
Research into protein structure failures relating to HIV are also focusing
on reactions in the ER

Adrenoleukodystrophy : A disorder of the
peroxisomes due to the deposition of huge
amounts of lipid material in the brain and
spinal cord and the adrenal glands which
results in dementia and adrenal failure.
ER Storage diseases : A group of
genetically based disorders in which
mutant proteins fail to pass quality control.
Organelles called 'rough endoplasmic reticulum' and 'smooth
endoplasmic reticulum' are separate networks of membrane
enclosed flattened tubules found in eukaryotic animal and plant
The rough ER, studded with millions of membrane
bound ribosomes, is involved with the production,
folding, quality control and despatch of some
Smooth ER is largely associated with lipid (fat)
manufacture and metabolism and steroid production
hormone production. It also has a detoxification
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A Little Video..
Smooth and Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum -