Answer the questions below about each organelle or structure indicated on the eukaryotic cell in Panel 1-2.  Notice this is an animal cell.

Plasma membrane:

  • Are all cell membranes composed of a lipid bilayer?
  • Define hydrophilic/hydrophobic.
  • Define polar/non-polar.
  • Compare the structure of phospholipids and cholesterol. How does structure affect function?
  • Why do phospholipids spontaneously form bilayers?



  • Function?
  • What is its size and shape determined by?

Nuclear Envelope:

  • What provides structural support?
  • Function of nuclear pore complexes?


  • Are ribosomes organelles?

Endoplasmic Reticulum:

  • Three major functions of ER?
  • Structural/functional difference between smooth and rough ER?
  • Where are smooth and rough ER found?
  • Is the ER connected to the nuclear envelope?  To the Golgi?


  • How does the term compartmentalization apply to the Golgi?
  • What is sorted by the Golgi?


  • What is the significance of lysosomes having an internal pH ~5?
  • Define “endosome”.  How does an endosome differ in structure and function from a lysosome? …from a phagosome?
  • Describe the three pathways to degradation in lysosomes.

Mitochondria and Chloroplasts:

  • Define chemiosmotic coupling.
  • Why is plasticity of mitochondria needed?
  • Compare/contrast the structure/function of mitochondria and chloroplasts.
  • Purpose of a double membrane?
  • Why is it postulated that mitochondria/chloroplasts contain DNA?  Does it code for the same proteins as nuclear DNA?
  • Why are mitochondria mostly maternally inherited in higher animals? What is the significance of this?
  • How are mitochondria made?


  • Function?
  • How do peroxisomes function differently from lysosomes?


  • Define “cytoskeleton”.
  • For microfilaments, microtubules, intermediate filaments-
  • Name the major protein(s) that make up each type of fiber
  • Size (diameter)
  • Stability
  • Representative functions

Extracellular matrix (ECM) structures:

  • Do plant cells have an ECM?
  • How does a tissue differ from a cell?
  • Define “connective tissue”.
  • List the 3 major components of connective tissue. What are two main proteins associated with connective tissue?
  • What comprises the extracellular matrix of bone? Cartilage? Tendon? Blood?
  • Describe the structure of epithelial tissue.
  • What is a basal lamina? Function?
  • Describe the functions of at least 3 different cell junctions.


  • Is the cytosol liquid?
  • Describe the internal environment of the cell.  Is it static?
  • List three ways plant cells differ from animal cells.
  • Describe the main difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Watch “The inner life of a cell” video. This video helps to visualize structures and processes in a cell.


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