PROKARYOTIC AND EUKARYOTIC CELLS

 

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A cell is a basic component of living organisms where all functions in an organism takes place. A virus on the other hand, is non living tiny particles which rely on a host for living. This means that they are not able to reproduce on their own as cells do. Cells are composed of on orderly structure whereas viruses are not. The structure of a virus contains either the RNA (ribonuceic acid) or DNA (dioxiribonucleic acid) but not both, while a cell contains the two genetic materials. Viruses lack the ribosomes thus they are not able to synthesize protein like cells. Finally, a cell contains a cell membrane which protects the nucleus while for a virus, the nucleus is shielded by a protein coat.

Cells are of two types, prokaryotic and eukaryotic as suggested by Alters, (1999). Eukaryotic cells are present in organisms such as animals, plants, fungi, algae and protozoa while prokaryotic cells are mainly found in bacteria’s and archaea. Karp, (2010), showed that the two cells had some similarity. They have plasma membrane made of a double layer of lipids. Most of their mechanisms function in a similar way e.g. protein synthesis, photosynthesis, transcription and translation of genetic material. Finally they have the following cell organelles in common; cell wall, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, extended plasma membrane, glycocalyces and Ribosome. The cell wall surrounds and protects the inner components of the cell. Both cells are filled with a fluid which contains dissolved nutrients referred to as cytoplasm, this fluid is responsible for materials movement within the cell by a process called cytoplasm streaming. The cytoskeleton is found in the cytoplasm and it prevents the cell from wear and tear. It also helps to maintain the shape of the cell and enable cell movement. The plasma membrane and act as barrier between the inner and outer side of the cell. The membrane is permeable and extended by support of cytoskeleton elements. This extension help the cell stick to surfaces and also assist in movement of materials in the outer part of the cell. Glycocalyx hold the cells together as it’s usually made of sugar which gives the structure stickiness property. Manufacture of proteins is common in both cells and hence they require a way to synthesize the proteins formed. In regards to this they contain ribosomes to serve this purpose. In both cell types, the ribosomes are numerous but for eukaryotic cells they are large and complicated. Despite their similarity Moulton, (2011) described that; there exists a significant difference between them in terms of cell organelles. First, eukaryotic cell has a nucleus while the prokaryotes cell lacks a nucleus. The DNA in eukaryotic cell is linear and found inside the nucleus enclosed from the cytoplasm by a membrane Also is found and in many chromosomes. Contrary to this, DNA in prokaryotes cell is circular, not enclosed by membranes and mainly found in a single chromosome. DNA in eukaryotic is associated with histones and nonhistones proteins while in prokaryotes other proteins are present, apart from the two. Second, prokaryotes cells are small compared to the eukaryotic cells. This provides the prokaryotic cell with large surface-to-volume ratio which favors nutrients absorption. Eukaryotic cell has numerous membranes that incorporate the ratio of their plasma membrane and the volume of their cytoplasm in propotion. Third, though both cells contain the cell wall which serves the same purpose but the cell wall is made of different molecules e.g. cell wall of prokaryotes is made of peptidoglycan molecule. Fourth, in eukaryotic cell reproduce through mitosis whereas in prokaryotes binary fusion is involved, and, Fifth, a number of organelles exist inside plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells but not present in prokaryotes membrane e.g. nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplast, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, Lysosymes, Vacuoles, and Microbodies

All the activities of the cell are controlled by the nucleus. The mitochondria enclosed by two membranes with cristae, is mainly involved in metabolism, a process where food energy is broken down to chemical energy. In regards to chloroplast, it provides a surface where photosynthesis takes place and light energy is of vital importance in the process. Endoplasmic reticulum on the other hand is composed of membranes connected to form a channel where synthesis and metabolism of lipids occurs. They are of two types rough and smooth. After the molecules produced in the endoplasmic reticulum, it’s the work of the golgi apparatus to pack and ship them to their respective destination. Lysosomes are held responsible to break down of protein, membranes and materials absorbed by the cell. The vacuoles provide storage facility for materials and water in plants. Finally, the microbodies deal with generation and destruction of hydrogen peroxide. Prokaryotic cell contains two cell organelles; flagella and fimbriae. Flagella control movement in the cell while fimbriae deal with connection of bacteria to cell receptors.

Living organisms have the potential to receive and interpret the signal from the surrounding. Signals may be transformed through different mediums e.g. light, heat, water, etc. In multi-cellular organism signals are transmitted from one cell to another. The signals may as a result of cell division and differentiation. Many cells in living organisms respond to signals which keep them alive and functioning. The main purpose of signals is to generate a response corresponding to circumstance. Receptors bind the signal and stimulate production of a second signal which finally produces the response. There are several types of signaling: autocrine, paracrine, exocrine, synaptic and signaling by cell contact. For autocrine, signals are attached to receptors on cells that reproduced them. Paracrine signals have an impact on nearby cells In regard to exocrine; signals are secreted by the cells into the blood. Synaptic signaling is similar to paracrine but a synape exists between the origin of the signal and the destination. To end with, signals produced by cell contact must involve cell from adjacent membranes. The consequences of signaling are changes in the metabolism, electrical charge in the plasma membrane and gene expression. According to Cossart, (2005), the Eukaryotic cells communicate with the surrounding mostly through the cytoplasm and G-Protein coupled receptors. In the cytoplasm, there must be smooth movement of materials through the cell. Movements of materials in the cell take several forms; diffusion, osmosis, active transport, endocytosis and facilitated diffusion. Steroids and Nitric oxide are signaling molecules where diffusion takes place by internal receptors binding. Steroid hormones pass through the cell membrane because of their solubility nature to the environment. In the cytoplasm, they bind receptors causing change in their structure forcing the complex into the nucleus to alter gene expression. The G-Protein coupled receptors protein membranes wound seven times through the plasma membrane. hormones of some ligands bind the receptor and alter the expression of the genes. They bind on the outer surface of the receptor and the G-protein in the cytoplasm is activated. A second signal is initiated which produce multiple events in the cell which trigger a response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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