Functions of Membranes: Endoplasmic Reticulum

Endoplasmic Reticulum
What is the Endoplasmic Reticulum?

In its simplest form these are membranes forming channels within the cytoplasm, they are continuous with the nuclear membrane and enclose the Cisternae (cellular spaces).

Types of Endoplasmic Reticulum(ER):
  • Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum(RER)
  • Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum(SER)
Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum

RER is covered with ribosomes; these are tiny granules which help in the synthesis of proteins. It is because of these ribosomes why the RER has its name. Rough endoplasmic reticulum is found mainly in cells that are growing rapidly or that secrete proteins, some are also found in the pancreas which secretes insulin.

Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum

SER has its name because it contains no ribosomes. Unlike RER it is mainly found in cells that secrete Steroids and lipid substances and serves its functions in many metabolic processes.

Functions of the Endoplasmic Reticulum:

  • It manufactures proteins and enzymes.
  • It manufactures Steroids as well as lipids.
  • It has a large surface area which allows for biological and chemical reactions to take place.
  • Collects and stores synthesized materials.
  • The cell carries out many processes including the transport and exchange of materials; therefore it is the ER which acts as a pathway for these transport and exchanges.
  • Maintenance of cellular shape by forming a structural skeleton.

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