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This chapter should help the student to:

  • Perceive the inseparability of structure and function in living organisms.

  • List the names and functions of cytoplasmic components.

  • List the subunits of each cytoplasmic component and their roles in its function.

  • List the cell’s functions and explain the role of each cytoplasmic component in each function.

  • Recognize a cell’s cytoplasmic components in a micrograph and hence predict the cell’s function(s).

  • Predict which structures are present in a cell from its function.

  • Predict the functional deficit(s) that accompany specific structural aberrations.

  • Predict the cytoplasmic component(s) likely to be involved in a functional deficit.

  • Explain and give examples of cell differentiation.


  1. Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in terms of the presence of a nucleus, histones, and cytoplasmic organelles, as well as overall size (I.B1).

  2. List several functions of cell membranes (II.C).

  3. List the major biochemical constituents of cell membranes and sketch their organization as described in the fluid mosaic model of membrane structure (II.A and B; Fig. 2–1).

  4. Explain why a membrane’s phospholipid bilayer has a trilaminar appearance in transmission electron micrographs (TEMs) (II.A.1).

  5. Compare the locations of peripheral and integral membrane proteins in relation to the lipid bilayer and the methods required to isolate them from cell membranes (II.A.2.a and b; Fig. 2–1).

  6. Name three membrane receptor types that transduce signals across the plasma membrane. Compare them in terms of the number of passes they make through the plasma membrane, the effects of ligand binding on their conformation, and the role of enzymes in signal transduction (II.C.2.a–c; Figs. 2–2, 2–3).

  7. Explain how signal transduction by steroid hormone receptors differs from that by membrane receptors in terms of ligand type, receptor location, and binding between the receptor and DNA (II.C.2.a–d).

  8. Compare phagocytosis and pinocytosis in terms of the way that vacuoles or vesicles are formed, the types of materials endocytosed, and the relative size of the vacuoles and vesicles (II.C.3.a and b).

  9. List the steps in receptor-mediated endocytosis, beginning with ligand-receptor binding and ending with receptor return to the cell surface (II.C.3.c; Fig. 2–4).

  10. Compare organelles and cytoplasmic inclusions in terms of the presence of limiting membranes, enzyme content, active or passive role in cell function, and their relative constancy in the cyto-plasm (III).

  11. What is the major function of mitochondria (III.A.2)?

  12. Sketch a mitochondrion (III.A; Fig. 2–5) and label or show the location of the following:

    1. Outer mitochondrial membrane

    2. Inner mitochondrial membrane

    3. Cristae

    4. Inner membrane (F1) subunits

    5. Intermembrane space (III.A.1.c)

    6. Intercristal space

    7. Intracristal space

    8. Matrix

    9. Matrix granules

    10. ATP synthase (III.A.1.b)

    11. Citric acid cycle enzymes

    12. Electron transport system (III.A.1.b)

  13. Name the substances and structures in the mitochondrial matrix that resemble those in prokaryotic cells and duplicate eukaryotic cell components found elsewhere in eukaryotic cells (III.A.1.d).

  14. Compare the mitochondrial cristae of most cells with those of steroid-secreting cells and cells with a high metabolic rate (III.A.1.b).

  15. Briefly describe four major steps ...

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