The Function Of Microfilaments

Microfilaments, or actin filaments, are the thinnest filaments of the cytoskeleton and are found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. The polymers of these linear filaments are flexible but still strong, resisting crushing and buckling while providing support to the cell.

Microfilaments are very versatile cell components that serve a role in cytokinesis, movement, and changes in cell shape. The strong but flexible arrangement of the microfilaments' framework allows it to help with cellmovement.

To make a cell move, one end of the actin filament stretches out while the other end pulls itself in tighter. The process repeats until movement is complete. This is believed to happen due to the myosin II molecular motors.

Microfilaments alsoserve an important role in theactomyosin-driven contractile molecular motors. In that process, the thin filaments become stretchy platforms for the myosin's pulling action. This mostly occurs during muscle contraction and pseudopod advancement.


Related Links:
Science
Biology


Educational Videos