Molecular Visualization Of Cell Structures


Campbell Biology

Note: All protein and nucleic acid structures are based on data from the Protein Data Bank; regions whose structure has not yet been determined are shown in gray.

Membrane proteins: Proteins embedded in the plasma membrane or other cellular membranes help transport substances across membranes, conduct signals from one side of the membrane to the other, and participate in other crucial cellular functions. Many proteins are able to move within the membrane.


Cellular respiration: Cellular respiration includes many steps, some carried out by individual proteins or protein complexes in the cytoplasm and the mitochondrial matrix. Other proteins and protein complexes, involved in generating ATP from food molecules, form a “chain” in the inner mitochondrial membrane.


Photosynthesis: Large complexes of proteins with associated nonprotein molecules are embedded in chloroplast membranes. Together, they can trap light energy in molecules that are later used by other proteins inside the chloroplast to make sugars. This is the basis for all life on the planet.


Transcription: In the nucleus, the information contained in a DNA sequence is transferred to messenger RNA (mRNA) by an enzyme called RNA polymerase. After their synthesis, mRNA molecules leave the nucleus via nuclear pores.


Translation: In the cytoplasm, the information in mRNA is used to assemble a polypeptide with a specific sequence of amino acids. Both transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules and a ribosome play a role. The eukaryotic ribosome, which includes a large subunit and a small subunit, is a colossal complex composed of four large ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules and more than 80 proteins. Through transcription and translation, the nucleotide sequence of DNA determines the amino acid sequence of a polypeptide, via the intermediary mRNA.


Cytoskeleton: Cytoskeletal structures are polymers of protein subunits. Microtubules are hollow structural rods made of tubulin protein subunits, while microfilaments are cables that have two chains of actin proteins wound around each other.


Motor proteins: Responsible for transport of vesicles and movement of organelles within the cell. This requires energy, often provided by ATP hydrolysis.


Source:

Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology (p. 122). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.


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