The Cytoplasmic Ground Substance

MT and IF are not the finest texture of cytoplasmic organization. Smaller, more delicate structures branch and interconnect in "gel" state networks which comprise the substance of living material.

Three distinct cytoskeletal component systems have been well characterized: MT, IF and actin filaments. Actin is the most versatile component. In conjunction with other proteins it can polymerize in string-like filaments, form dynamic branching nanoscale meshworks or geodesic polyhedrons. Even more evanescent than labile MT, assembly of actin and associated proteins create transient configurations of cytoplasm for specific purposes. The roots of intelligence may well be grounded in dynamic cytoplasmic expressions such as contractile rings which divide the cytoplasm in cell division, probing lamellipodia, and dendritic spines and synapses in neurons.

The nature and structure of the "ground floor" of organization, the cytoplasmic ground substance, has been explored from a number of orientations resulting in overlapping descriptions. These include the microtrabecular lattice, cytomatrix, and cytoplasmic solid state.

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