Animal Cell Cytoskeleton Description And Function

Animal cell cytoskeleton is needed by cells to keep their shape intact. Cyto in cytoskeleton means Cell so the cytoskeleton means skeleton of the cell. It is the structure of the cell that is very organized and also elastic. Some parts can perform like our muscles but other parts can perform like our bones and it is different as our skeleton look.



Animal Cell Cytoskeleton Function

It has similar functions to our skeleton by provides structural support. It allows the cell to move around, keep its shape, and protect its inside from outside impact. Mechanical stress is the result of outside impact on the cell. The cytoskeleton also helps equally separation chromosomes during cell division, provides support to the cell membrane, and help in healing from any exterior damage. It also helps the movement of cell organelle like mitochondria moving from one fraction of the cell to another. There are multiple strands of three main parts for the animal cell cytoskeleton to give strength in numbers not single stranded. Disassembly, assembly, cellular transport, and stability of cytoskeletal are also supported by the accessory proteins.




There is no bone in animal cell cytoskeleton but there are three main components, intermediate filaments, microtubules, and microfilaments with different sizes. Microtubules are the biggest bone with round, small, and empty tubes shape. They are made up of tubulin or a kind of protein. Microtubules are formed from thirteen connecting tubulin and are extremely dynamic structures. It is easy for them to change by constantly increasing or dwindling. They help to transport of cellular substance and during cell division they deal in chromosomes divvying.

Intermediate Filaments (IF)

The intermediate filaments are the middle components of the animal cell cytoskeleton that look like slim threads. Cytoskeletons are average-sized and hold the cell in a meshwork shape. IF proteins have many different kinds and they present in different type in all cells. Keratin is one type of IF protein that helps keeping your skin together and creates your hair and fingernails. Mechanical stress of the cell is prevented by the IFs and they avoid cell broken apart by letting the cell to bend or to be stretched.


The microfilament is the smallest main part of the cytoskeleton with 3 to 6 nanometers in diameter. They are made of the protein actin which is why they are also called actin filaments. Animal cell cytoskeleton looks like 2 pieces of yarn as they are warped together.