Vacuole


Vacuole

[

Organelles: (1) nucleolus (2) nucleus (3) ribosomes (little dots) (4) vesicle (5) rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (6) Golgi apparatus (7) Cytoskeleton (8) smooth ER (9) mitochondria (10) vacuole (11) cytoplasm (12) lysosome (13) centrioles within centrosome] In general, vacuole functions include:
* Removing unwanted structural debris
* Isolating materials that might be harmful or a threat to the cell
* Containing waste products
* Maintaining internal hydrostatic pressure or turgor within the cell
* Maintaining an acidic internal pH
* Containing small molecules
* Exporting unwanted substances from the cell

Vacuoles also play a major role in autophagy, maintaining a balance between biogenesis (production) and degradation (or turnover), of many substances and cell structures. Vacuoles store food and other materials needed by a cell. They also aid in destruction of invading bacteria or of misfolded proteins that have begun to build up within the cell. The vacuole is a major part in the plant cell.

Plants

Most mature plant cells have one or several vacuoles that typically occupy more than 30% of the cell's volume, and that can occupy as much as 90% of the volume for certain cell types and conditions. [Alberts, Bruce, Johnson, Alexander, Lewis, Julian, Raff, Martin, Roberts, Keith, and Walter, Peter (2002). "Molecular Biology of the Cell (Fourth Edition)," (Garland Science, New York), p. 740.] A vacuole is surrounded by a membrane called the tonoplast.

This vacuole houses large amounts of a liquid called cell sap, composed of water, enzymes, inorganic ions (like K+ and Cl-), salts (such as calcium), and other substances, including toxic byproducts removed from the cytosol to avoid interference with metabolism. Toxins present in the vacuole may also help to protect some plants from predators. Transport of protons from cytosol to vacuole aids in keeping cytoplasmic pH stable, while making the vacuolar interior more acidic, allowing degradative enzymes to act. Although having a large central vacuole is the most common case, the size and number of vacuoles may vary in different tissues and stages of development. Cells of the vascular cambium, for example, have many small vacuoles in winter, and one large one in summer.

Aside from storage, the main role of the central vacuole is to maintain turgor pressure against the cell wall. Proteins found in the tonoplast control the flow of water into and out of the vacuole through active transport, pumping potassium (K+) ions into and out of the vacuolar interior. Due to osmosis, water will diffuse into the vacuole, placing pressure on the cell wall. If water loss leads to a significant decline in turgor pressure, the cell will plasmolyse. Turgor pressure exerted by vacuoles is also helpful for cellular elongation: as the cell wall is partially degraded by the action of auxins, the less rigid wall is expanded by the pressure coming from within the vacuole. Vacuoles can help some plant cells to reach considerable size. Another function of a central vacuole is that it pushes all contents of the cell's cytoplasm against the cellular membrane, and thus keeps the chloroplasts closer to light.

The vacuole also stores the pigments in flowers and fruits.

Animals

Vacuoles in animals are a part of the processes of exocytosis and endocytosis. Exocytosis is the extrusion process of proteins from the Golgi apparatus initially enter secretory granules, where processing of prohormones to the mature hormones occurs before exocytosis, and also allows the animal cell to rid waste products.Endocytosis is the reverse of exocytosis. There are various types. Phagocytosis ("cell eating") is the process by which bacteria, dead tissue, or other bits of material visible under the microscope are engulfed by cells. The material makes contact with the cell membrane, which then invaginates. The invagination is pinched off, leaving the engulfed material in the membrane-enclosed vacuole and the cell membrane intact. Pinocytosis ("cell drinking") is essentially the same process, the difference being that the substances ingested are in solution and not visible under the microscope cite journal | author = William F. Ganong, MD | title = REVIEW OF MEDICAL PHYSIOLOGY - 21st Ed. | year = 2003]

Hydropic (vacuolar) changes are of importance of identifying various pathologies, such as the reversible cell swelling in renal tubules caused by hypoperfusion of the kidneys during open heart surgery.

References


* (2003) Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill, Medical Publishing Division, New York


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • vacuole — [ vakɥɔl ] n. f. • 1734; du lat. vacuum ♦ Didact. Petite cavité, intervalle vide. Vacuoles de certaines scories, des lapilli. Histol. Espace circonscrit, parfois limité par une membrane, au sein du cytoplasme d une cellule ou d un organisme… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vacuole — Vac u*ole, n. [L. vacuus empty: cf. F. vacuole.] (Biol.) A small air cell, or globular space, in the interior of organic cells, either containing air, or a pellucid watery liquid, or some special chemical secretions of the cell protoplasm. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vacuole — 1853, from Fr. vacuole, from L. vacuus empty (see VACUUM (Cf. vacuum)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • vacuole — vacuole. См. вакуоль. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Vacuole — Vacuole, aus Golgi Vesikeln oder Erweiterungen des ER entstehender, mit Flüssigkeit, dem Zellsaft, gefüllter Hohlraum in Pflanzenzellen; dient der Regulation des Wasserhaushalts der Zelle, dem Abbau von Makromolekülen und der Stoffspeicherung.… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • vacuole — ► NOUN Biology ▪ a space or vesicle inside a cell, enclosed by a membrane and typically containing fluid. ORIGIN from Latin vacuus empty …   English terms dictionary

  • vacuole — [vak′yo͞o ōl΄] n. [Fr < L vacuus, empty] Biol. a fluid filled cavity within the cytoplasm of a cell, surrounded by a membrane that usually encloses food, water, or air vacuolar [vak′yo͞o wə lər, vak΄yoo wō′lər] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Vacuole — La vacuole est un organite présent dans la cellule végétale, les cellules fongiques[1]. De rares auteurs parlent de vacuoles dans les cellules animales mais le terme de vésicule est plus approprié[2]. Les vacuoles sont des compartiments délimités …   Wikipédia en Français

  • vacuole — vakuolė statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Citoplazmos ertmė, pripildyta ląstelės sulčių. atitikmenys: angl. vacuole rus. вакуоль …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • vacuole — noun Etymology: French, literally, small vacuum, from Latin vacuum Date: 1853 1. a small cavity or space in the tissues of an organism containing air or fluid 2. a cavity or vesicle in the cytoplasm of a cell usually containing fluid see cell… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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