Plant and animal cells share several structural similarities, such as organelles that are bound in membranes and similar cytoskeletal elements. They also contain similar membranes and attributes such as nuclei, lysosomes and peroxisomes.
Another major similarity between plant and animal cells is that both are eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells are complex and have evolved methods to assign different parts of the cell to different functions. Scitable states that organelles are cell compartments that fulfill different roles in eukaryotic cells. The mitochondria organelle uses food molecules to produce energy. The endoplasmic reticulum transports proteins and assists in the production of membranes. Lysosomes recycle other organelles as well as macromolecules.
The nucleus of a plant or animal cell is comparable to the brain of the cell. Scitable states that the nucleus is perhaps the most important of all the eukaryotic organelles. The presence of a membrane-bound nucleus is actually the definition of a eukaryotic cell, according to About.com. The nucleus contains the majority of a plant or animal cell's genetic material and organizes this information into DNA molecules. The nucleus also forms chromosomes. The nucleus also acts as the control center of a plant or animal cell and regulates all its activities.