The rough endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle that produces proteins and helps them fold properly. Cells also have a smooth endoplasmic reticulum that processes fats and steroid hormones.
The endoplasmic reticulum is a membrane-bound structure that is a part of every eukaryotic cell. This organelle plays a large role in the synthesis of large, complex proteins and amino acids. The membranes of an endoplasmic reticulum is lined with ribosomes. The ribosomes give the organelle a rough appearance and give the organelle its name. The ribosomes in the rough endoplasmic reticulum manufacture proteins. These proteins are manufactured from chains of amino acids. The proteins then enter the different channels of the organelle and move through the organelle’s membranes. As the proteins travel through the organelle, they create small pockets. These pockets pinch off from the organelle and form vesicles. The vesicles transport the proteins to the Golgi complex, where they are processed and distributed to different cells.
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is another organelle in eukaryotic cells that synthesizes lipids. This organelle is located near the rough endoplasmic reticulum, and it produces phospholipids and cholesterol that help stabilize the membranes of the entire cell. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum and the rough endoplasmic reticulum both play vital roles in processing and synthesizing compounds for the cell.