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Chapter 17.

Three types of filaments form the cytoskeleton
Intermediate filaments form a strong, durable
network in the cytoplasm of the cell
ntermediate filaments are like ropes made of long, twisted strands of protein
Intermediate filaments strengthen animal cells

Figure 17-4 Essential Cell Biology ( Garland Science 2010)

Intermediate filaments can be divided into several different categories
Plectin aids in the bundling of intermediate filaments and
links these filaments to other cytoskeletal proteins
The nuclear envelope is supported by a
meshwork of intermediate filaments
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Microtubule usually grow out of an organizing structure

Figure 17-8 Essential Cell Biology ( Garland Science 2010)

Atomic model of the -tubulin--tubulin dimers
are hollow
tubes with
distinct ends
Centrosome is the major microtubule-organizing
center in the animal cells
Each microtubule filament grows and shrinks
independently of its neighbors
GTP hydrolysis controls the growth of
The selective stabilization of microtubules can polarize a cell
Microtubules transport cargo along a nerve cell axon
Motor proteins move along microtubules
using their globular heads
Different motor proteins transport cargo
along microtubules
Three types of filaments form the cytoskeleton

17_02_3 types of protein filaments

Actin filaments allow eucaryotic cells to adopt a
variety of shapes and perform a variety of functions
Atomic structure of actin
Actin filaments are thin flexible protein threads
ATP hydrolysis decreases the stability of the actin polymer
Actin-binding proteins control the behavior of
actin filaments in vertebrate
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Figure 17-35 Essential Cell Biology ( Garland Science 2010)
Molecular Motors
1. Actin-based Motor Proteins: Myosins
2. Microtubule Motor Proteins: Kinesins, Dyneins

Myosin II
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Myosin-II molecules can associate with one another to form
myosin filaments
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A skeletal muscle cell is packed with myofibrils, each of
which consists of a repeating chain of sarcromeres
Sarcomeres are the contractile units of muscle
Muscles contract by a sliding-filament mechanism

Figure 17-42 Essential Cell Biology ( Garland Science 2010)

A myosin molecule Attached
walks along an actin
filament through a Released
cycle of structural



After studying the material in this chapter the student should be able to do the following:

1. Draw a sketch of an actin filament, a microtubule, and an intermediate filament.

2. Draw a rough sketch of the distribution of actin filaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in a cultured cell.
3. Sketch an intestinal epithelial cell and a fibroblast, showing where actin filaments are concentrated.
4. Describe the behavior of an actin filament at steady state in the presence of ATP.
5. Describe the mechanism used by cells to regulate the initiation of actin filaments in locations such as the leading edge
of motile cells.
6. Explain how actin-binding proteins can increase the rate of actin filament turnover in cells compared to pure actin in a
test tube.
7. Make a list of the major cellular structures composed of microtubules.
8. Explain why microtubules are much stiffer than actin filaments.
9. Make a sketch showing how and where cells initiate microtubules, where the plus and minus ends are located in cells
and how the plus ends of the microtubules behave at steady state.
10. Describe how microtubules and motor proteins are used to construct an axoneme and to power its movements.

Problems: all of them.