The Endoplasmic Reticulum: Biosynthetic Factory


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The Endoplasmic Reticulum: Biosynthetic Factory (Campbell Biology)

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is such an extensive network of membranes that it accounts for more than half the total membrane in many eukaryotic cells. (The word endoplasmic means “within the cytoplasm,” and reticulum is Latin for “little net.”) The ER consists of a network of membranous tubules and sacs called cisternae (from the Latin cisterna, a reservoir for a liquid). The ER membrane separates the internal compartment of the ER, called the ER lumen (cavity) or cisternal space, from the cytosol. And because the ER membrane is continuous with the nuclear envelope, the space between the two membranes of the envelope is continuous with the lumen of the ER.

There are two distinct, though connected, regions of the ER that differ in structure and function: smooth ER and rough ER. Smooth ER is so named because its outer surface lacks ribosomes. Rough ER is studded with ribosomes on the outer surface of the membrane and thus appears rough through the electron microscope. Ribosomes are also attached to the cytoplasmic side of the nuclear envelope’s outer membrane, which is continuous with rough ER.


Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology. Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.


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