Images on this website are available for licensing for editorial and commercial use.

Content © Vivid Biology 2012-2018

Eukaryotic Cell

Eukaryotic cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be highly specialised to carry out specific roles.

All animals are made up of eukaryotic cells, they can be highly specialised cells that carry out specific roles in a system. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes that relate to their functions. Due to their complexity, the nuclei of eukaryotic cells contain a lot of information that codes for the proteins that  make them.

Eukaryotic animal cells contain many specialised organelles that perform specific functions. The genetic material is stored in the nucleus, enclosed in the nuclear envelope. Rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum exists in layers surrounding the nucleus for processing and making modifications to synthesised proteins produced by ribosomes. The golgi apparatus may then further process these proteins for export and trafficking outside of the cell. Other large organelles exist within the cell such as the mitochondria, which are responsible for generating ATP via aerobic respiration. Meanwhile, pathogens and defective proteins may be broken down in lysosomes that sit in the cytoplasm, these act as separate compartments to prevent the hydrolytic enzymes they carry from breaking down useful proteins in the cell. The cytoskeleton maintains the cell’s shape and is made up of polymerised actin subunits. during mitosis these aggregate around centrioles to form the apparatus to evenly separate organelles and chromosomes when the cell cleaves into two.