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What is cytosol?

Meaning of cytosol

The prokaryotic cell has the cytoplasm formed by the cytosol (viscous liquid, 80% water and substances), DNA molecules (nucleoid) and many ribosomes that participate mainly in protein synthesis. The eukaryotic cell has the cytoplasm made up of cytosol, cytoplasmic organelles, and cytoskeleton.

The cytosol can also be called hyaloplasm, ground cytoplasm, or cytoplasmic matrix.

When the study of the interior of living cells began, early researchers believed that the cells were filled with a viscous liquid, where the nucleus was. This liquid was called cytoplasm (from the Greek kytos, meaning cell, and plasma, liquid).

After several studies it was found that in addition to the fluid part, which came to be known as the cytosol, the cytoplasm has various other types of structures, which have some specific functions.

The hyaloplasm has the function of storing reserve substances used by cells.

It is the place of production of molecules that form cellular structures, it is where glycolysis and the biosynthesis of sugars occur.

The cytosol is a gelatinous material, which can contain a more fluid or viscous consistency, rich in water, proteins, dissolved substances, electrolytes, glucose, lipid compounds and substances that will contain cellular organelles and the cytoskeleton.

This consistency will depend on the conditions of the medium and the phase in which the cell is. Cytogel is called when it is more viscous and when it is more aqueous cytosol.

The more marginal and peripheral regions of the cell are generally more viscous than the interior and have the consistency of soft jelly. The consistency will also depend on the organization of the micelles, when they are disorganized in the liquid medium, the appearance is more fluid to the system and when they present a more organized state, the appearance is more viscous.

Much of the cell’s metabolic reactions occur in this environment, in the cytosol.

The hyaloplasm or cytosol is in continuous motion, driven by the rhythmic contraction of certain protein strands that are present in the cytoplasm. This movement is called cyclosis and it occurs by increasing speed with an increase in temperature and slowing down when the temperature decreases.

In plant cells, this movement occurs around the central vacuole and will entrain the organelles and various substances present in the cytoplasm of the cell.

Its main functions are to carry the chloroplasts to the outermost part of the cytoplasm, facilitating the capture of light and heat from the external environment.

It also increases the exchange of materials within the cell, between its cellular structures, and with the external environment. Another type of movement that occurs is when cells have the ability to change the consistency of their cytosol, which will generate internal flows that allow the cell to change shape and move.

This type of movement occurs in protozoa and some types of multicellular animal cells.

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