Cell Biology

... from active transport to vesicles

extracellular matrix

Cells are surrounded by, and interact with, the extracellular matrix. The ECM comprises a complex system of non-living matter that is important to sustaining the life of the organism. Extracellular fluid (ECF) bathes cells, and comprises the fluid component of the ECM. In mammals, the ECM is termed connective tissue, and it may constitute a significant portion of the bulk of the organism.

Components of extracellular space and matrix include:
● proteins
---● structural proteins – collagen, elastin, cellulose (plants), chitin (insects, fungi)
---● specialized proteins – fibrillin, fibronectin, and laminin
● proteoglycans – long chains of repeating disaccharide glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) units attached to protein core
● minerals – calcium in bone
● extracellular fluid compartment

Connective tissue includes structural and support tissues derived predominantly from the mesodermal germ layer (the embryologic germ layers being ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm). The basal lamina lies between the ECM and adjacent epithelial cells. The basement membrane comprises a basal lamina together with a reticular lamina or a second basal lamina.

Џ beautiful Flash 8 animation - Inner Life of the Cell, which shows the extracellular environement and its interaction with the intracellular environment, and Interpretation: Inner Life of the Cell Џ


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