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Protein synthesis begins when a gene on DNA produces messenger RNA
(mRNA), the template for protein synthesis. The Golgi apparatus plays a major role
in modifying and packaging newly synthesized proteins. Some proteins and
glycoproteins synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) are delivered
to the Golgi apparatus by transport vesicles. Heres a summary of the process,
beginning with DNA.
The mRNA leaves the nucleus and attaches to a free ribosome in the cytoplasm,
or a fixed ribosome on the RER.
Proteins constructed on free ribosomes are released into the cytoplasm for use
within the cell.
When a protein is synthesized on fixed ribosomes, it is threaded into the hollow
tubes of the ER where it begins to fold into its 3-dimensional shape.
The proteins are then modified within the hollow tubes of the ER. A region of the
ER then buds off, forming a transport vesicle containing the modified protein.
DNA controls protein synthesis,
cell structure, and cell function
We begin this section by examining the major events of protein
synthesis: gene activation, transcription, and translation.We then
consider how the nucleus controls cell structure and function.
The Role of Gene Activation in Protein
Each DNA molecule contains thousands of genes and therefore
holds the information needed to synthesize thousands of proteins.
Normally, the genes are tightly coiled, and bound histones
keep the genes inactive. Before a gene can affect a cell, the
portion of the DNA molecule containing that gene must be uncoiled
and the histones temporarily removed.
The factors controlling this process, called gene activation,
are only partially understood.We know, however, that every gene
contains segments responsible for regulating its own activity. In
effect, these are nitrogenous-based triplets that say do or do not
read this message, message starts here, or message ends here.
The read me, dont read me, and start signals form a special
region ofDNAcalled the promoter, or control segment, at the start
of each gene. Each gene ends with a stop signal. Gene activation
begins with the temporary disruption of the weak hydrogen
bonds between the nitrogenous bases of the two DNA strands
and the removal of the histone that guards the promoter.
After the complementary strands have separated and the
histone has been removed, the enzyme RNA polymerase binds
to the promoter of the gene. This binding is the first step in the
process of transcription, the synthesis of RNA from a DNA
template. The term transcription is appropriate, as it means to
copy or rewrite. All three types of RNA are formed through
the transcription of DNA, but we will focus here on the transcription
of mRNA, which carries the information needed to
synthesize proteins. The synthesis of messenger RNA (mRNA)
is essential, because the DNA cannot leave the nucleus. Instead,
its information is copied to messenger RNA, which can leave
the nucleus and carry the information to the cytoplasm, where
protein synthesis occurs.
Stages of a cells life cycle
include interphase, mitosis, and
The period between fertilization and physical maturity involves
tremendous changes in organization and complexity. At fertilization,
a single cell is all there is; at maturity, your body has
roughly 75 trillion cells. This amazing transformation involves
a form of cellular reproduction called cell division. The division
of a single cell produces a pair of daughter cells, each half
the size of the original. Before dividing, each of the daughter
cells will grow to the size of the original cell.
Even when development is complete, cell division continues
to be essential to survival. Cells are highly adaptable, but physical
wear and tear, toxic chemicals, temperature changes, and other
environmental stresses can damage them. And, like individuals,
cells age. The life span of a cell varies from hours to decades, depending
on the type of cell and the stresses involved. Many cells
apparently self-destruct after a certain period of time as a result of
the activation of specific suicide genes in the nucleus. The
genetically controlled death of cells is called apoptosis
( apo-, separated from ptosis, a falling). Several
genes involved in the regulation of this process have been identified.
For example, a gene called bcl-2 appears to prevent apoptosis
and to keep a cell alive and functional. If something interferes
with the function of this gene, the cell self-destructs.
Because a typical cell does not live nearly as long as a typical
person, cell populations must be maintained over time by cell division.
For cell division to be successful, the genetic material in
the nucleus must be duplicated accurately, and one copy must be
distributed to each daughter cell. The duplication of the cells genetic
material is called DNA replication, and nuclear division is
called mitosis ( ). Mitosis occurs during the division of
somatic cells. The production of sex cells involves a different
process, meiosis ( ), described in Chapter 28.
Interphase, Mitosis, and Cytokinesis
depicts the life cycle of a typical cell.
That life cycle includes a fairly brief period of mitosis alternating
with an interphase of variable duration. In a cell preparing
to divide, interphase can be divided into the G1, S, and G2
phases. DNA replication occurs during the S phase. Mitosis is
the duplication of the chromosomes in the nucleus and their
separation into two identical sets in the process of somatic cell
division. Although we describe mitosis in stages, prophase,
metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, it is really one continuous
process. Cytokinesis is the division into two daughter cells. This
process usually begins in late anaphase and continues throughout
telophase. The completion of cytokinesis marks the end of
cell division, creating two separate and complete cells, each
by its own plasma membrane.
The four tissue types are
epithelial, connective, muscle,
and neural
Although the human body contains trillions of cells, differentiation
produces only about 200 types of cells. To work efficiently,
several different types of cells must coordinate their
efforts. Cells working together form tissuescollections of
specialized cells and cell products that perform a limited number
of functions. The study of tissues is called histology. Histologists
recognize four basic types of tissue:
1. Epithelial tissue, which covers exposed surfaces, lines internal
passageways and chambers, and forms glands.
2. Connective tissue, which fills internal spaces, provides structural
support for other tissues, transports materials within
the body, and stores energy reserves.
3. Muscle tissue, which is specialized for contraction and includes
the skeletal muscles of the body, the muscle of the
heart, and the muscular walls of hollow organs.
4. Neural tissue, which carries information from one part of
the body to another in the form of electrical impulses.
It is convenient to begin our discussion with epithelial tissue, because
it includes the surface of your skin, a very familiar feature.
Epithelial tissue includes epithelia and glands. Epithelia
( ; singular, epithelium) are layers of cells that cover internal
or external surfaces. Glands are structures that produce fluid
secretions; they are either attached to or derived from epithelia.
Epithelia cover every exposed surface of the body. Epithelia
form the surface of the skin and line the digestive, respiratory,
reproductive, and urinary tractsin fact, they line all passageways
that communicate with the outside world. The more delicate
epithelia line internal cavities and passageways, such as the
chest cavity, fluid-filled spaces in the brain, the inner surfaces of
blood vessels, and the chambers of the heart.
Epithelia have several important characteristics:
General Characteristics of Epithelial
Epithelial tissue covers body surfaces and lines passageways and internal organs
the body. All epithelial tissues share similar general traits. The cells of epithelial
tissue are joined tightly together with cell junctions. The epithelial tissue layer also
has one side that always faces the outer surface, called the apical side. The inner
side is called the basal surface and connects the epithelium with the inner tissue.
This trait is referred to as polarity. The basal surface it attached to underlying
tissues by the basement membrane. Epithelial tissue does not contain blood
so it is referred to as avascular. All nutrients are provided by diffusion or absorption
across the surface of the tissue. Epithelial cells at the apical surface are
being regenerated by cells deeper within the tissue.
Functions of Epithelial Tissue
There are several functions of epithelial tissue:
A. Epithelial tissue protects exposed and internal surfaces from abrasion,
dehydration, damaging chemicals, and microorganisms.
B. Epithelial tissue regulates the molecules, from ions to hormones, that
pass into
underlying tissue.
C. Epithelial cell layers contain numerous sensory nerves. This allows for
a relay
of information to the nervous system from the outside environment.
D. Gland cells within the epithelia produce secretions that provide specific
functions for the body.
1. Exocrine glands release secretions on to the skin, such as sweat from
exocrine glands and milk from the mammary glands.
2. Endocrine glands release hormones into interstitial fluid and blood.
These hormones are released from several glands, such as the pituitary
and thyroid glands.
Specialization of Epithelial Cells

Epithelial cells can be specialized for specific functions:

producing secretions,
enhancing movements across epithelium, moving fluids
through epithelium. Some
types of epithelium may have microvilla, cilia, or stereocilia
that aid in secretion
and absorption. Cilia that line the respiratory tract beat in
uniform movement to
move mucus out of the lungs toward the throat.
Structure of Epithelium

A. Epithelial cells are strongly attached to one another in

order to provide a protective barrier. This adhesion is
provided by cell adhesio(CAMs), tight junctions,
demosomes, gap junctions, and intercellular cement.
B. Epithelial tissue on the surface of the skin is repaired
and replaced by
specialized cells called stem cells. Stem cells from the
deepest layer of
epithelia divide and move to the surface to replace cells
that are continually
under attack by environmental factors.n molecules
Epithelial Layers

A. Simple epithelium has only one layer of epithelial cells

covering the basement
membrane. Simple epithelium is thin and fragile and lines
the ventral body
cavities and blood vessels.
B. Stratified epithelium has several layers of cells covering
the basement
membrane. Stratified epithelium, which is found in the
skin, is stronger and
can handle more environmental stres
Shapes of Epithelium

A. Squamous epithelium cells are thin, flat, and irregular

shaped like puzzle
pieces. Simple squamous tissue, the most delicate of the
epithelial tissues, is
found in the alveoli of the lungs.
B. Cubiodal epithelial cells look like small cubes and form
thicker epithelial
C. Columnar epithelial cells are more slender and taller
than the cubiodal cells.
Glandular Epithelium

A. Merocrine glands secrete fluids through secretory

vesicles by exocytosis. This
is the most common form of secretion. Mucus production
is one example.
B. In apocrine glands, cytoplasm, plus the secreted fluid,
are released to secretory
vesicles. Underarm sweat is an example of aprocrine
C. In holocrine secretion, the gland cell bursts and is
destroyed when the
secretion is released. This occurs in the sebaceous glands
of the hair follicle