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What is a rough endoplasmic reticulum analogy?

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Quick Answer

Perhaps the clearest analogy that can be made to describe the role of the rough endoplasmic reticulum is that of a factory assembly line. Along its surface, which Dictionary.com describes as "rough" owing to the ribosomes arrayed along its membrane, proteins are synthesized and transported for use in the cell's chemistry.

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What is a rough endoplasmic reticulum analogy?
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The rough endoplasmic reticulum is a long, convoluted structure inside the cell that is folded into a series of sacs along its course. It connects the nucleus of the cell with its plasma membrane and is often intertwined with the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which has a subtly different function and is folded into a more tubular shape than the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Proteins and, in leukocytes, antibodies are assembled along the length of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and conveyed to either end for use in the cell's biology, according to About.com.

From the description About.com gives, it is easy to imagine the components of various proteins, such as insulin, being conveyed along its surface and assembled as if they were cars in a factory. Once the proteins reach the end of their journey, they're ready for use in maintaining the body's chemical balance and are released into the cytoplasm.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the functions of endoplasmic reticulum?

    A:

    The endoplasmic reticulum is an organelle that functions as a manufacturing and packaging center for the cell. Each cell has a smooth endoplasmic reticulum and a rough endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • Q:

    Who discovered the endoplasmic reticulum?

    A:

    The endoplasmic reticulum was discovered in 1945 by researchers Ernest Fullman, Keith Porter and Albert Claude. The endoplasmic reticulum is separated into two categories. The parts of the organelle with ribosomes on the surface are called rough and areas without ribosomes are smooth.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of endoplasmic reticulum?

    A:

    In addition to other jobs, the endoplasmic reticulum creates and folds proteins and then carries these synthesized substances to the Golgi apparatus via the vesicles. The endoplasmic reticulum also executes sorting activities for the cell's proteins. However, the precise duties carried out by the endoplasmic reticulum vary by both species and cell type.

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  • Q:

    What is the function of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum?

    A:

    The duties of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum vary depending on the type of cell, but one of the most important functions of this cellular structure is the synthesis of phospholipids and cholesterol. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum carries out these duties in a variety of cells, but plays more specific roles in specialized cells, such as liver cells. In liver cells, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum helps to purify and detoxify compounds that are produced through metabolic processes.

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