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Biology of the cell

Aisling Ahlstrm

Learning objectives
To describe the basic structure of a eukaryotic
cell
To understand the cellular processes occurring
within the cell

The Eukaryotic cell


The biological building unit of all multicellular organisms
Contain a membrane enclosed nucleus and can replicate independently.

Cells we work with..


Blastomere

Cell membrane
The cell membrane is made up of a phospholipid bilayer.
Fluid mosaic model (1972, Singer)
hydrophillic

Barrier
Transporter
Maintains
Membrane potential
Cell volume
Homeostasis

Anchoring of receptors, enzymes and cytoskeleton


Connection and communication between cells

hydrophobic

Permeability

The most important property of the cell membrane is its selective permeability,
Small and nonpolar (hydrophobic) molecules can freely pass through the membrane,
but charged ions and large molecules such as proteins and sugars are barred passage.

Cell junctions
Tight junction

Adherent junction

Desmosomes

Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 10, 90-100 (February 2013)

Gap junctions
Chatterjea, BluSci

Intracellular channel consists of two


hemi-channels, connexons that are
docked end-to-end
Connexons, translated at 4 to 8-cell
stage only begin to traffic to the
plasma membrane after compaction.
Main action CELL SHARING
allow electrical current, small
molecules (less than 1kDa),
metabolites or ions to travel between
cells, including but not limited to
cAMP, ATP, IP3, glucose, glutamate,
Ca2+ and K+ .
Role in homeostasis and cell
signalling (via phosphoryltaion of Cterminus).

Inside the cell


The cytoplasm consists of
cytosol, gel-like fluid that fills the cell and is a where protein synthesis
and other fundamental chemical reactions occur.
cytoskeleton, a protein structure that maintains cell shape and helps
move organelles around the cell.
organelles, membrane-bound components, each with a distinct
structure and function

The nucleus

contains DNA, template to all protein in a cell

Cytoskeleton
Protein structure, organization and transport
Shape change and movement, resist stress
Connects cell to external environment

Differ in size and stiffness


Differ in assembly and disassembly
dynamics

Cytoskeleton
Microtubules, form tracks that
can span the length of the entire
cell, like highways for
intracellular traffic, can
reorganize rapidly.

Actin filaments, support leading


edge of cell movement by steady
elongation. Support filopodial
extensions, and control shape.
Exo- and endocytosis.
Important role during compaction
and hatching.

Centrosome
Division centre segregating chromosomes

to each daughter cell


Composed of centrioles and Pericentriolar
material (PCM)
Centrioles are of paternal origin, oocyte looses
during oogenesis
PCM is supplied by the oocyte
Replicate at same time as DNA synthesis, prior
to meiosis I and II in spermatogenesis and after
fertilization
Abnormalities result in
Failure in chromosome segregation
Aneuploidy
Multinucleation

Nucleus

Contains the template to all


proteins in the cell DNA
Nucleolus synthesizes rRNA and
assembles ribosomes.
Double membrane - outer
membrane is in continuim with ER
Nuclear pores are tightly controlled

The genome
Chromatin consists of DNA, RNA
and proteins
Chromatin
Chromosome

packages DNA into a smaller


volume
stabilizes DNA macromolecule
during mitosis
prevents DNA damage
controls gene expression and
DNA replication

As cells prepares to divide


(mitosis or meiosis) chromatin
packs more tightly to facilitate
segregation of chromosomes

Sperm DNA
During spermiogenesis, histones
are replaced by protamines,
condensing the DNA into tightly
packaged toroids
High state of supercoiling inhibits
transcription

Mol Hum Reprod (2010)16: p30-36

DNA structure

Double stranded helix


Nucleobases are purines
(Adenine or Guanine) or
pyrimidines (Cytosine or
Thymine)
Hydrogen bonds between purines
and pyrimidines stabilize helix
structure

DNA Replication Fork

ehinger.nu

Helicase: breaks hydrogen bonds to separate DNA strands


DNA polymerase: adds free nucleotides to the 3' end of the newly forming strand and proofreads
Topoisomerase: prevents overwinding, cuts and reseals phosphate backbone
DNA primase: creates a RNA primer for DNA polymerase to start replication

Cell cycle

labmonsters.com

Cell cycle checkpoints


The cell cycle is guarded at 3
checkpoints (boundaries)
G1/S
G2/M
Metaphase/Anaphase (SAC)

Respond to Cdks and cyclins


complexes to progress through
checkpoints

Spindle assembly checkpoint SAC

Activity modulated by reduced


availability of cyclins, or
phosphorylation of complexes
and positive and negative
feedback loops

Two types of cell division

Mitosis
Diploid parent cell
2n:2c
DNA replication
Prophase
2n:4c
Metaphase
2n:4c
SAC
Anaphase
4n:4c
Telophase
4n:4c

Cytokinesis
2n:2c

P - nuclear envelope breaks down, centrioles begin moving to


opposite ends of the cell, microtubules extend from centrioles
and begin to attach to the centromeres of chromosomes
M - spindle fibers align chromosomes at the metaphase plate at
equal distance from centrioles, the mitotic spindle
A - each pair of sister chromatids splits at the centromere,
separates and moves along the shortening spindle fibers to
opposite sides of the cell, the number of centromeres and
chromosomes within the cell is doubled
T - a new nuclear membrane forms around each of the two
new daughter nuclei, spindle fibers begin to disperse,
chromosomes decondense,
Cytokinesis - cytoplasm divides to form two identical daughter
cells

Meiosis I

&

Meiosis II

4c

Crossing over
Spindle assembly checkpoint

2c

1c

Gametogenesis
Spermatogenesis

Oogenesis

Age related meiotic errors in oocytes

Synthesis and Degradation

Metabolic pathways

Energy/ATP

Mitochondria

POWER HOUSE: primary source of ATP


Permeable outer membrane (porins)
Impermeable inner membrane with
folds (cristae)
Own DNA and ribosomes
Maternally inherited (highly
conserved)
Divide by binary fission in response to
energy needs, or at same time as cell
cycle
During embryogeneisis, replication
(increase in numbers/per cell) does
not begin until after implantation

Cell Respiration- Energy

Mitochondria
Imbalance of ATP supply/demand
associated with

MII

D3

D4

Chromosomal segregation disorders


Maturation and fertilization failure
Arrested cell division and abnormal
cytokinesis
Cell apoptosis
A mtDNA threshold has been implicated as a new
euploid embryo selection marker (Fragouli ESHRE
2014)

D5

Mt (green) found in midpiece

Sperm
Defects in structure, genome, membrane
potential or O2 consumption associated to
loss of sperm function
Critical for fertilization
Sperm mtDNA is then degraded inside the
zygote

DNA (blue)

Reproduction (2013) 146 163174

Protein synthesis
Ribosomal
RNA

Transfer RNA

classes.kumc.edu

Messenger RNA

Universal code

en.wikipedia.org

Rough endoplasmic recticulum


Post translational modification and
packaging of proteins, deliver to golgi and
membranes.

sciencephoto.com

brittocellproj.weebly.com

Smooth endoplasmic recticulum

Synthesis and metabolism of lipids, steroids


and carbohydrates and detoxification of
drugs and poisons (high number in cells of
ovaries and testes)

Regulation of Ca2+ ion concentrations

SER+ oocytes have been reported to have


lower fertilization, embryo development and
pregnancy rates and compromised neonatal
oucomes

Presence of SER disturbs Ca2+ stores and


oscillations

Golgi Apparatus

Stacked membranes called Cisternae

Central organelle mediating protein and lipid


transport

Processes proteins made by the endoplasmic


reticulum (ER) before sending them out to the
cell

Golgi enzymes catalyze protein modifications


addition or removal of sugars (glycosylation)
addition of sulfate groups (sulfation)
addition of phosphate groups
(phosphorylation)

Xu, D. & Esko, J. D. Nature Chemical Biology 5, 612613 (2009).

Lysosomes

Primary lysosome from


Golgi
Contain digesting enzymes
for nucleic acids, proteins,
sugars and lipids
Release digested contents
outside of cell by exocytosis

Programmed Cell Death :


Apoptosis

Summary
The eukaryotic cell is a highly functional unit
Is able to take care of household functions
with specialised organelles, to replicate,
manufacture and dispose.

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