I have a little assignment for you. broken up by group. I want to discuss the cytoskeleton and it's applications when we next get together.
The cytoskeleton is often the worst represented of cellular structures. In the image above, microtubules (made of tubulin) are in green, microfilaments (actin) are in red. Intermediate filaments (Keratins) are not shown.
As the name implies, they are all involved in providing structure to cells. Microtubules are the largest in diameter and ALWAYS grow out from an MTOC (centriole). Microfilaments are the thinnest and can grow anywhere in the cell. Intermediate filaments are…well, intermediate. They also tend to be on the long axis of large cells and sort of make up "cross members" in cube shaped (cuboidal) cells.
They all have some superpower that allows them to be repurposed very broadly in cells and in multicellular organisms.
Two of them have "motor proteins" associated with them. Two can be assembled and disassembled rapidly from subunits. One is insanely stable under virtually all conditions.
For your assigned structure, identify its superpower (motor protein or insane stability), how it is used in a single cell (Some are used more than one way) and how it can be repurposed for other applications in single cells and in an organism.
Look forward to the discussion.
You can start with the wikipedia entry on cytoskeleton
and go on from there. Don't go crazy on this. I want you to see how they can be used.
Ryan, Lucius, Ethan, Evan: Actin: This one has a really dramatic use in animals
Dolce, Mira, Clare, Bella: Tubulin: This one has many uses in the cell…
Andrea, Ha Ha, Miller: intermediate filaments. Also repurposed dramatically in animals.