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What are the main functions of microtubules in a eukaryotic cell?

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bergcar | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted October 21, 2012 at 12:49 AM via web

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What are the main functions of microtubules in a eukaryotic cell?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Microtubules are formed from a type of protein called tubulin, and are part of the cytoskeleton in a cell's cytoplasm. They are found only in eukaryotic cells, not in prokaryotic cells. In a eukaryotic cell, the microtubules act mainly as support for the cell's structure; by lining the cytoplasm with microtubules, the cell is protected against certain types of shock or harm, and is less likely to be crushed by the other objects around it. Microtubules are created by specific organelles, the Microtubule Organizing Centers, which nucleate and build the microtubule out of the tubulin proteins. They also act as a transport system for some types of materials, and even transport organelles around the cell, protecting them from harm. Microtubules are of vital importance to the health of a cell, and provide a means of support and motility.

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