What Role Does the Cytoskeleton Play in a Living Cell?

The role of a cytoskeleton in a living cell is to supply structure to the cell, give the cell the ability to move and ensure proper cell division during cellular reproduction. The cytoskeleton contains three types of filaments within the cytoplasm, including intermediate filaments, microfilaments and microtubules.

Unlike human skeletons, cytoskeletons are extremely dynamic, meaning that their filament systems can lengthen or shorten rapidly. The dynamic nature of a cytoskeleton is required for cells to have the ability to change their shape and to ensure successful cell division or migration.

The filament systems of a cytoskeleton share a vital feature: they are made of proteins that can assemble themselves into a filamentous network.

The essential role the cytoskeleton plays in cell proliferation has led to cytoskeleton-inhibiting anti-cancer drugs.