Basics of Cell Form and Function

  1. Have a basic understanding of the following techniques used by cell biologists:
  2. Why are cells usually microscopic in size (the surface area to volume relationship)?
  3. Be familiar with the major features that distinguish eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
  4. Be familiar with the structures and functions of the following organelles and cell structures:
  5. Which of these organelles are part of the endomembrane system of organelles?
  6. What is the role of these endomembrane organelles in the synthesis and modification of membrane-bound secretory proteins?
  7. What are the components of the cell cytoskeleton (e.g.. microtubules, intermediate filaments, microfilaments) and what some of their general roles in cell support and motility?
  8. Describe the general characteristics of the cell wall of plants.
  9. Describe the structure and function of the following intercellular junctions:  plasmodesmata, gap junctions, tight junctions, desmosomes.
Cell Membranes
  1. What is the Fluid Mosaic Model of membrane structure?
  2. Have a basic understanding of the molecular organization of the cell membrane (phospholipids, membrane proteins, membrane carbohydrates, and cholesterol).
  3. What is diffusion and what properties of molecules can influence the passive diffusion of  molecules across membranes?
  4. What is the physiologic importance of active transport?
  5. Be familiar with processes such as phagocytosis, endocytosis, exocytosis and receptor mediated endocytosis.