What is the endomembrane system of the cell?
Posted April 2, 2021
The endomembrane system, which is present in eukaryotic cells, is a collection of membranes and organelles that work communally to modify, sort, package and transport proteins and lipids. It consists of the following organelles:
- Nuclear membrane – consists of two lipid bilayer membranes, embedded with proteins, that surrounds the nucleus and protects its genetic material.
- Endoplasmic reticulum – is an organelle made up of two subunits, a smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum. It is responsible for synthesizing lipids and proteins.
- Golgi apparatus – is an organelle consisting of multiple cisternal stacks that is responsible for modifying, packaging and transporting proteins and lipid molecules.
- Lysosomes – an organelle containing digestive enzymes for digesting macromolecules, old cell parts, microorganisms, etc.
- Endosomes – sorting organelles that originate from the trans-Golgi network and are part of the endocytic membrane transport pathway.
- Vesicles – a small enclosed lipid bilayer containing cytoplasm and materials for transport.
- Plasma membrane – lipid bilayer that encompasses all of the cells components and separates the interior of the cell from the outside environment. All the aforementioned organelles are housed within the plasma membrane.