Human body is an extremely complicated yet elegant system. Everything is in the right place and it all works together just perfectly. Only quite recently have been able to determine what we might call the basic level – cells. It opened us to a lot of new discoveries. One of them is endomembrane system.
What is it? Basically, endomembrane system process is responsible for shipping proteins from one place to another. Of course, it’s an oversimplification, but still is true. It consists from a large number of different organelles that consistently interact with one another. Not let’s look at an endomembrane system order in a little bit more detail.
First we need to talk about the endoplasmic reticulum, simply because it plays the major role in the entire system. It consists from what we call a “rough ER” and “smooth ER” and it modifies proteins and lipids.
Why do we call “rough ER” the way we do? This is because of a large number of very bumpy ribosomes that are all attached to the cytoplasmic surface. The main function is to create new proteins that are then transported either to a cellular membrane or out from the cell altogether. If the protein Is destined to leave the cell and not be the part of the ER – it is packed together with other such proteins into vesicles that look like small, round spheres which later get transported wherever it needs to go. So it’s quite easy to understand that cells that need to create lots and lots of proteins are full of “rough ER”. “Smooth ER” though is quite similar to the previous one, has its share of differences. Its functions are the production of steroid hormones, storage of calcium and detoxification. Sounds like quite an important task, doesn’t it?
As we have already mentioned, during endomembrane systems steps some proteins stop being parts of the ER and leave the cell. But how do they get properly transported to their destination? Well, it happens due to “The Golgi Apparatus”. It functions as a mechanism that stores proteins, organizes them and then sends them in a right direction. It consists of two different sides – cis and trans. Basically – input and output. From ER proteins travel to cis side where they get modified. Some molecules get removed while others are added. Modified proteins go to a trans part. From there they are send all throughout the human body.
These is basically how endomembrane system works. A popular question is – is mitochondria part of the endomembrane system? Well, the short answer is no, endomembrane system does not include mitochondria as its part. Be sure to study more about the wonders of our organism! It is truly a wonderful and extremely interesting world.
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