Cell Biology Glossary

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--Mark Hill 08:40, 20 March 2009 (EST) This is a working page for developing a quick glossary of cell biology designed for students at undergraduate level. The student group project glossary template is more basic than this current page and is available on this page's discussion tab.


A

actin

Cytoskeletal protein forming the backbone of the cytoplasmic microfilament system. Exists as globular actin monomer (G-actin) and microfilament polymer (F-actin). Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

actin-binding protein

Family of proteins that specifically bind actin within microfilament polymer (F-actin) or globular actin monomer (G-actin). Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

actin depolymerizing factor

(ADF) alternative name Cofilin, actin-binding protein that can disassemble actin by severing and depolymerizing actin filaments. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments


anaphase

phase of mitosis in which the chromosomes have begun to be pulled to opposite poles of the cell.

Arp2/3

A protein complex essential for actin assembly, generating new filaments and branch points. It is involved in cell motility in many cell processes. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

C

cell wall

Structure present outside bacteria and plant cells. Gram-positive bacteria, composed of the cytoplasmic membrane and peptidoglycan layer. Gram-negative bacteria, have an additional outer membrane composed of integral membrane proteins, lipids, and lipopolysaccharides. Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

cellulose

A carbohydrate that is found in plant cell walls Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

centrosome

Cytoplasmic microtubule organizing centre and thought to also regulate cell cycle events. Cytoskeleton 2 Microtubules PMID: 18437411

chlorophyll

The green material found in chloroplasts that is active in photosynthesis. Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

chloroplasts

The membrane-bound organelles containing chlorophyll found in photosynthetic organisms plants and fungi. Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

chromosome

The condensed form of chromatin that is visible during mitosis and meiosis (cellular division).

cofilin

Alternative name Actin Depolymerizing Factor, actin-binding protein that can disassemble actin by severing and depolymerizing actin filaments. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

correlative light/electron microscopy

(CLEM) microscopy technique combining fluorescence light microscopy and electron microscopy for simultaneous observation of subcellular structures. Lab 2 - Microscopy Methods | PMID: 18817522

cyclase-associated protein

(CAP) actin-binding protein that works in conjunction with Cofilin. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

cytochalasin D

A fungal metabolite which binds barbed end actin microfilaments and inhibits polymerization and depolymerization. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

cytoplasm

Collective term for the cytosol, organelles and cytoskeleton located outside the nucleus and under the plasma membrane.

cytoskeleton

Set of 3 filament systems intermediate filaments, actin filaments, and microtubules. Eukaryotic cells have a cytoplasmic and a nuclear cytoskeleton with different organisations and filaments. Cytoskeleton 2 Microtubules Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

D

Dynamin1

Dynamin family of GTPases member expressed in the nervous system and involved in many cellular pathways, implicated in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis


Dynamin2

Dynamin family of GTPases member ubiquitously expressed and involved in many cellular pathways, implicated in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis

E

endosome

Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis

eleutherobin

A microtubule-stabilizing agent isolated from a soft coral (Eleutherobia sp.).

euchromatin

DNA opened in interphase nucleus and transcriptionally active.

F

fragile X mental retardation protein

(FMRP) an RNA-binding protein involved in several steps of RNA metabolism.

fungi

Unicellular or multicellular eukaryotic cells that obtain their food from external sources, and reproduce sexual or asexually. (yeast) Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes |

G

Golgi apparatus

Cytoplasmic organelle consisting of a stack of individual membrane enclosed spaces located near the nucleus. Functions to process and modify proteins for exocytosis and endocytosis pathways.

H

heterochromatin

DNA within the nucleus in a packed form which has limited transcriptional activity.Cell Nucleus

hydrogenosome

Cytoplasmic anaerobic organelle related to mitochondria adaptated to extreme cellular anaerobic lifestyle. Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes |

I

intermediate filament

Cytoskeleton filament system required for cell mechanical stability and integrity. The name comes from the filaments being "intermediate" in cross-sectional size between microfilaments and microtubules. Lecture - Cytoskeleton - Intermediate Filaments


J

jasplakinolide

A sea sponge metabolite which binds and stabilizes actin microfilaments competitively with phalloidin. Also can cause nucleation. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

K

keratin

Cytoskeleton intermediate filament protein of epithelial cells required for cell mechanical stability and integrity. Humans have 54 functional keratin genes. Lecture - Cytoskeleton - Intermediate Filaments | PMID: 18461349

knockin mouse

A genetically engineered mouse in which genetic information is inserted into a particular locus in the genome. The mouse can now express this inserted gene/protein. Lab - Cell Knockout Methods

knockout mouse

A genetically engineered mouse in which genetic information is deleted from a particular locus in the genome. The mouse can now not express this modified or deleted gene and therefore protein. Lab - Cell Knockout Methods

L

latrunculin

A sea sponge metabolite which binds monomeric actin and inhibits polymerization of actin microfilaments. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

lipid droplets

Cytoplasmic phospholipid enclosed depots of neutral lipids found in many cell types. PMID: 18546013

lysosome

Cytoplasmic organelle for the degradation of both endocytosed extracellular and autophagy of intracellular materials. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis

M

Mallory-Denk bodies

(MDBs) liver disease associated protein aggregates consisting of ubiquitinated K8/K18, chaperones and sequestosome1/p62 (p62).

Matrix metalloproteinases

(MMPs) secreted family of proteins that can degrade or modify components of the extracellular matrix, cellular receptors, and cytokines. In humans, 24 different MMPs have roles in normal and pathophysiological cellular events. Lecture - Extracellular Matrix

microfilament

Cytoskeleton filament system required for cell shape and motility. The name comes from the filaments being the smallest in cross-sectional size of the three filament systems including intermediate filaments and microtubules. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

microtubule

Cytoskeleton filament system required for intracellular transport and motility. The name comes from the system filaments forming "tubes", they are also the largest in cross-sectional size of the three filament systems including microfilaments and intermediate filaments. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microtubules

mitochondria

Cytoplasmic double membrane organelle, main functions include energy production from aerobic cell respiration and cell death by apoptosis. Lecture - Cell Energy Production - Mitochondria

multivesicular bodies (MVB)

P

paclitaxel

A microtubule-stabilizing agent used in cancer therapy. Originally isolated from the Pacific yew tree (Taxus brevifolia) and called taxol, it is a member of the taxane family. Cytoskeleton 2 Microtubules

phalloidin

A fungal metabolite which binds and stabilizes actin microfilaments. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

plasma membrane

(cell membrane) The lipid based bilayer forming the container for each cell Lecture - Compartments and Cell Membranes

proteasome

A protein complex that degrades cellular proteins by proteolysis. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis

protein bodies

(PBs) cytoplasmic plant organelles that accumulate storage proteins in seeds, formed from endoplasmic reticulum or vacuole.

pemphigus

Human severe blistering skin disease caused by autoantibodies against desmosomal cadherins. Lecture - Cytoskeleton - Intermediate Filaments

S

semaphorin

Family of secreted transmembrane and GPI-linked proteins that alter the cytoskeletal organization of micofilaments and microtubules. Humans have 20 semaphorins, defined by cysteine-rich semaphorin protein domains, expressed in the nervous system and other tissues.

septin

A highly conserved GTPase family found in fungi and animals implicated in a diversity of cellular processes including cytokinesis, formation of diffusion barriers and vesicle trafficking. Septin2 partially co-localises with actin bundles in mammalian interphase cells. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

shiga toxin

A bacterial protein toxin produced by Shigella dysenteriae is transported directly from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum by early endosomes and the Golgi apparatus. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis | PMID: 11514628

U

ubiquitin

(Ub) PMID: 17689064

W

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)

T

trans-Golgi network

(TGN)

tropomyosin

Cytoskeletal protein that can bind the actin backbone of the cytoplasmic microfilament system. Many different isoforms of this protein. Lecture - Cytoskeleton 3 Microfilaments

trypanosomes

Unicellular protozoan parasites that infect humans, animals, insects, and plants. Lecture - Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes | PMID: 18462016

tubulin

Cytoskeleton 2 Microtubules

V

verotoxins

Bacterial protein toxins produced by enterohemorrhagic strains of Escherichia coli these are transported directly from the plasma membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum by early endosomes and the Golgi apparatus. Lecture - Cell Import - Endocytosis | PMID: 11514628