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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 does the rough endoplasmic reticulum do?

    A:

    The rough endoplasmic reticulum synthesizes proteins. Most of the body's cells, except for red blood cells and sperm cells, contain a rough endoplasmic reticulum, and the exact proteins it synthesizes depend upon the type of cell.

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  • Q:

    What does the endoplasmic reticulum do?

    A:

    The endoplasmic reticulum has numerous functions including the manufacture of membranes and secretory proteins, carbohydrate and lipid synthesis and the detoxification of compounds. The function depends on which cells ? such as pancreatic or white blood cells ? the endoplasmic reticulum is located.

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  • Q:

    What is the definition of a smooth endoplasmic reticulum?

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    The smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the part of the ER that does not have ribosomes attached to the cytoplasmic side of the membrane. It forms a tubular structure, distinct from the rough ER that is evenly distributed throughout the cytoplasm.

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  • Q:

    Who discovered the endoplasmic reticulum?

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    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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