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2- Microtubules

The microtubule is a long cylindrical

structure with a cavity.
It is elastic and capable to bend
without breaking.
Chemically, it is made of dimmers of
alpha (α) and beta (β) tubulin {a type
of protein}.
Functions of microtubules:
1- Microtubules form centrioles, basal bodiescilia, flagella and
2- They facilitate the transport of various particles inside the
3- They share in the formation of cytoskeleton of the cell.

Note: The
determines the shape
and provides
mechanical support to
the cell.
It is formed from:
1) Microfilaments,
2) Intermediate
filaments and
3) Microtubules.
Again, cytoskeleton
is formed from:

1) Microfilaments,

2) Intermediate filaments
3) Microtubules.

Microtubules form:
a- Centrioles,
b- Basal bodies,
c- Cilia & flagella and
d- Microvilli.
a- Centrioles
Centrioles are short hollow cylindrical
tubules that found near the nucleus.
There are two centrioles at right angles to
each other.
Each centriole consists of 9 peripheral
sets of microtubules arranged in a pin-
wheel, 3 microtubules (triplet) in each
Thus, each centriole consists of 27 (3x9)
microtubules in the configuration of
Functions of centrioles:
1- They play an important role in the process
of cell division where they form spindle
2- They are able to replicate giving identical
structures that migrate towards the plasma
membrane to form basal bodies from which
cilia or flagella are formed.
b- Basal bodies:
So, the basal bodies and centrioles are
homologous structures with the same
configuration (9+0).
c- Flagella and cilia:
Each cilium or flagellum has a basal
body located at the base.
Cilia and flagella are hair-like
structures projecting from the basal
bodies (that found in the cytoplasm)
and enclosed (covered) by the plasma
Eukaryotes have 9 doublets (pairs) of
microtubules arranged in a circle around 2
central microtubules
i.e. (9 + 2).
Cilia are being much shorter than flagella.
Many unicellular organisms move by cilia such
as Paramecium or by flagella such as Euglena.
The upper respiratory tract have cilia while
sperms use flagella to move. The 9+2 arrangement of microtubules in
a flagellum or cilium.
d- Microvilli
They are formed from microtubules covered by cell membrane.

They are finger like structures projecting from the surfaces of some
cells such as intestine or kidney.
They increase the surface area for absorption.

The nucleus occurs only in

It has a role in controlling the

shape and features of the cell.
When a cell has grown to a Nuclear sap
certain size it divides into two
It is composed of:
1- Nuclear membrane
(nuclear envelope),
2- Nuclear sap,
3- Nucleoli and
4- Chromatin network.
1- The nuclear envelope
It appears as a double membrane
(outer and inner); each is similar
in structure to the plasma
Numerous nuclear pores occur in
it, allowing RNA and other
chemicals to pass while DNA can
not go out through it.
Structure of the nuclear envelope and
Functions: nuclear pores
It was used to protect DNA (genetic material that found in the nucleus
forming the chromosomes) from reactions that occur in the cytoplasm
which could damage it.
2- The nuclear sap (nucleoplasm):
It is a colloidal clear medium in which all the contents of the nucleus
are embedded
It contains lipoproteins, ions, enzymes … etc.
3- Nucleolus
There are one or more nucleoli in each nucleus.
It is involved in the formation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), which is
responsible for protein synthesis in ribosomes.
4- Chromatin network:
The material of chromatin network is formed mainly of DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) as a double helix around a core of protein
called histone.
DNA contains the code of genetic information forming chromosomes.
Chromatin network is found in two forms which are:
1- Euchromatin:
They are called active chromatin because they found in active cells.

They are involved in protein synthesis.

They are called extended chromatin because they appear as thin
2- Heterochromatin:
They are called inactive chromatin.
They are not involved in protein synthesis.
They are called condensed chromatin.
Heterochromatin appears as:

1- Peripheral chromatin:

when they are attached to the inner nuclear membrane (nuclear

2- Chromatin islands:
when they are scattered as granules in the nuclear sap.

Functions of chromatin network:

1) It carries genetic information.
2) It directs protein synthesis by coding the DNA bases to form mRNA.
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