Intermediate filaments are important components of the cell's cytoskeletal system. They may stabilize organelles, like the nucleus, or they may be involved in specialized junctions. They are distinguished from "thin filaments" by their size (8-10 nm) and the fact that thin filaments are obviously motile. However recent evidence indicates that Intermediate Filaments may also have dynamic properties. We will be reading a paper this week that shows examples of these. Below is a menu that shows how this topic fits into the overall cytoskeletal system unit.
This figure shows the rope-like characteristics of IFs. Note that there is some organizational pattern.
You can also see organization in the cartoon. By the end of the unit, you will be able to identify the regions in this pattern:
Test yourself: How much do you know about Intermediate filaments?
In the cartoon, note the concentration of filaments at cell junctions or at the base. Note the filaments around the nucleus. What is the significance of these sites?
Read Lodish et al, pp 836-845; 969-979
Answer the following questions:
Read the following article for Thursday's class:
Han Yoon, Kyeong, Yoon M, Moir, R.D., Khuon S, Flitney F W, and Goldman R.D. 2001 Insights into the dynamic properties of keratin intermediate filaments in living epithelial cells. J Cell Biology 153: 502-516
1) What problem were they trying
Last updated: 04/02/03 since 4/09/2001
URL Address: http:/www.cytochemistry.net/Cell-biology/filam.htm
Gwen V. Childs, Ph.D.
© text copyright 2001 Gwen V. Childs, Ph.D.