What Is the Function of the Cytoskeleton?

function-cytoskeleton Credit: AntToeKnee Lacey/CC-BY-2.0

The cytoskeleton is a network of protein fibers that provide the framework for cellular movement, shape, organelle movement and cell division. These protein fibers make up the microfilaments, intermediate filaments and microtubules.

The intermediate filaments are the fibers that make up the shape of the cell, but this function is only present in cells without walls. The microtubules may be the type of cytoskeleton that is the most familiar. The microtubules play a large role in cell division. They are responsible for moving the chromosomes into the daughter cells during cell division. This occurs by the microtubules lengthening and shortening to ultimately push the chromosomes where they need to go.