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Lysosomes: A class of morphologically heterogeneous cytoplasmic particles in animal and plant tissues characterized by their content of hydrolytic enzymes and the structure-linked latency of these enzymes. The intracellular functions of lysosomes depend on their lytic potential. The single unit membrane of the lysosome acts as a barrier between the enzymes enclosed in the lysosome and the external substrate. The activity of the enzymes contained in lysosomes is limited or nil unless the vesicle in which they are enclosed is ruptured. Such rupture is supposed to be under metabolic (hormonal) control. (From Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)

Cell Structure- Concept

JoVE 10587


Cells represent the most basic biological units of all organisms, whether it be simple, single-celled organisms like bacteria, or large, multicellular organisms like elephants and giant redwood trees. In the mid 19th century, the Cell Theory was proposed to define a cell, which states:

Every living organism is made up of one or more cells.
The cells…

 Lab Bio

Eukaryotic Compartmentalization

JoVE 10689

One of the distinguishing features of eukaryotic cells is that they contain membrane-bound organelles—such as the nucleus and mitochondria—that carry out particular functions. Since biological membranes are only permeable to a small number of substances, the membrane around an organelle creates a compartment with controlled conditions inside. These microenvironments are often distinct from the environment of the surrounding cytosol and are tailored to the specific functions of the organelle. For example, lysosomes—organelles in animal cells that digest molecules and cellular debris—maintain an environment that is more acidic than the surrounding cytosol, because its enzymes require a lower pH to catalyze reactions. Similarly, pH is regulated within mitochondria, which helps them carry out their function of producing energy. Additionally, some proteins require an oxidative environment for proper folding and processing, but the cytosol is generally reductive. Therefore, these proteins are produced by ribosomes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which maintains the necessary environment. Proteins are often then transported within the cell through membrane-bound vesicles. The genetic material of eukaryotic cells is compartmentalized within the nucleus, which is surrounded by a double membrane called the nuclear envelope. Sma

 Core: Biology

What are Cells?

JoVE 10687

Cells are the foundational level of organization of life. An organism may be unicellular, as with prokaryotes and most eukaryotic protists, or multicellular where the functions of an organism are divided into different collections of specialized cells. In multicellular eukaryotes, cells are the building blocks of complex structures and can have various forms and functions.

Cells are the building blocks of all living organisms, whether it is a single cell that forms the entire organism (e.g., a bacterium) or trillions of them (e.g., humans). No matter what organism a cell is a part of, they share specific characteristics. A living cell has a plasma membrane, a bilayer of lipids, which separates the watery solution inside the cell, also called cytoplasm, from the outside of the cell. Furthermore, a living cell can replicate itself, which requires that it possess genetic information encoded in DNA. DNA can be localized to a particular area of the cell, as in the nucleoid of a prokaryotic cell, or it can be contained inside another membrane, such as the nucleus of eukaryotes. Eukaryote means "true nucleus." The word prokaryote, hence, implies that the cell is from a group which arose before membrane-bound nuclei appeared in the history of life. Prokaryotic cells lack internal membranes. In contrast, eukaryotes have internal membran

 Core: Biology

Golgi Apparatus

JoVE 10970

As they leave the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), properly folded and assembled proteins are selectively packaged into vesicles. These vesicles are transported by microtubule-based motor proteins and fuse together to form vesicular tubular clusters, subsequently arriving at the Golgi apparatus, a eukaryotic endomembrane organelle that often has a distinctive ribbon-like appearance.

The Golgi apparatus is a major sorting and dispatch station for the products of the ER. Newly arriving vesicles enter the cis face of the Golgi—the side facing the ER—and are transported through a collection of pancake-shaped, membrane-enclosed cisternae. Each cisterna contains unique compositions of enzymes and performs specific protein modifications. As proteins progress through the cis Golgi network, some are phosphorylated and undergo removal of certain carbohydrate modifications that were added in the ER. Proteins then move through the medial cisterna, where they may be glycosylated to form glycoproteins. After modification in the trans cisterna, proteins are given tags that define their cellular destination. Depending on the molecular tags, proteins are packaged into vesicles and trafficked to particular cellular locations, including the lysosome and plasma membrane. Specific markers on the membranes of these vesicles allow them to dock

 Core: Biology

Imaging Biological Samples with Optical and Confocal Microscopy

JoVE 10476

Source: Peiman Shahbeigi-Roodposhti and Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Optical microscopes have been around for centuries, and while they reached their theoretical limitation of resolution decades ago, new equipment and techniques, such as confocal…

 Biomedical Engineering

Crystallization of Salicylic Acid via Chemical Modification

JoVE 10407

Source: Kerry M. Dooley and Michael G. Benton, Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Processing of biochemicals involves unit operations such as crystallization, ultracentrifugation, membrane filtration, and preparative chromatography, all of which have in common the need to separate large from…

 Chemical Engineering

An Introduction to Cell Death

JoVE 5649

Necrosis, apoptosis, and autophagic cell death are all manners in which cells can die, and these mechanisms can be induced by different stimuli, such as cell injury, low nutrient levels, or signaling proteins. Whereas necrosis is considered to be an “accidental” or unexpected form of cell death, evidence exists that apoptosis and autophagy are both programmed…

 Cell Biology

Studying Organelle Dynamics in B Cells During Immune Synapse Formation

1Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 3Centro de Investigaciones en Biología Celular y Biomedicina, Facultad de Ciencia, Universidad San Sebastián

JoVE 59621

 Immunology and Infection

Live Cell Imaging and 3D Analysis of Angiotensin Receptor Type 1a Trafficking in Transfected Human Embryonic Kidney Cells Using Confocal Microscopy

1Department of Biochemistry, Georgetown University Medical Center, 2Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3Department of Physics, Georgetown University Medical Center, 4Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center

JoVE 55177

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