Ch 5: GRE Biology: Cell Structure & Function

About This Chapter

Let our experienced instructors help you prepare for the GRE Biology exam. Watch entertaining video lessons on cell transport, ribosome structure, and more so you can answer related questions on the exam and make your graduate school application stand out.

GRE Biology: Cell Structure & Function - Chapter Summary

Lessons in this chapter cover cell organelles and structures found in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Use them to prepare for GRE Biology test questions on the following topics:

  • The phospholipid bilayer
  • The fluid mosaic model of the cell membrane
  • Active and passive transport in cells
  • Endocytosis and exocytosis
  • Structure and function of the nucleus
  • Ribosome structure and function
  • Components of the endomembrane system
  • The cytoskeleton's microtubules and microfilaments
  • Mitochondria structure and function
  • Structure and function of chloroplasts
  • Plant cell walls and central vacuoles

This chapter includes plenty of tools to help you visualize each of these cell structures, including video lessons that you can re-watch as often as you'd like and matching transcripts that make the material easy to scan. There are also short lesson quizzes and a chapter exam for when you're ready to see how well you've absorbed key cellular biology concepts.

GRE Biology Objectives

The GRE Biology exam includes around 190 multiple-choice questions. Lessons in this chapter are designed to help you prepare for test questions focusing on membrane dynamics, cell organelles and the cytoskeleton. These and other types of cell structure and function questions make up approximately 16%-17% of exam content and cover topics ranging from cell transport and extracellular matrices to ribosome structure and cell motility.

Scores on the GRE Biology exam are used to assess your preparedness for a graduate program in biology or a related field. While not necessarily required for admission, this exam can be used to enhance your graduate school application and demonstrate your expertise in the biological sciences.

13 Lessons in Chapter 5: GRE Biology: Cell Structure & Function
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How a Phospholipid Bilayer Is Both Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic

1. How a Phospholipid Bilayer Is Both Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic

In this lesson, we will learn what gives phospholipids a dual personality. How can this molecule be both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, and why is this important to a cell?

The Fluid Mosaic Model of the Cell Membrane

2. The Fluid Mosaic Model of the Cell Membrane

In this lesson, we will discuss the components of the cell membrane and why the fluid mosaic model paints the best picture of its structure. We'll learn about the roles of the phospholipid bilayer, cholesterol, proteins and carbohydrates.

Passive Transport in Cells: Simple and Facilitated Diffusion & Osmosis

3. Passive Transport in Cells: Simple and Facilitated Diffusion & Osmosis

A cell membrane is selectively permeable - not permeable to everything. In this lesson, we'll talk about methods of passive transport along a concentration gradient, including simple and facilitated diffusion and osmosis.

Active Transport in Cells: Definition & Examples

4. Active Transport in Cells: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we'll learn how substances are transported across the cell membrane against the concentration gradient. This might seem like an uphill battle for the cell, but all it takes is a little chemical energy and a few integral membrane proteins to kick off some active transport!

Endocytosis and Exocytosis Across the Cell Membrane

5. Endocytosis and Exocytosis Across the Cell Membrane

In this lesson, we'll discover how some cells can eat, drink, and digest their dinner through the process of endocytosis and a structure called the lysosome. In addition, we'll learn how a cell can throw out the leftovers across the cell membrane during exocytosis.

Structure of the Nucleus: Nucleolus, Nuclear Membrane, and Nuclear Pores

6. Structure of the Nucleus: Nucleolus, Nuclear Membrane, and Nuclear Pores

In this lesson, we'll discuss the organization and importance of the nucleus in your cells. This is the membrane-bound structure responsible for containing all the genetic material essential to making you who you are.

The Ribosome: Structure, Function and Location

7. The Ribosome: Structure, Function and Location

The ribosome is the cellular structure responsible for decoding your DNA. In this lesson, we'll learn about ribosome structure, function and location - characteristics that make it a very good genetic translator.

The Endomembrane System: Functions & Components

8. The Endomembrane System: Functions & Components

In this lesson, we'll learn about the endomembrane system, which consists of the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. This system is important in making, packaging, and shipping all sorts of goodies for the cell to use!

The Cytoskeleton: Microtubules and Microfilaments

9. The Cytoskeleton: Microtubules and Microfilaments

In this lesson, we'll learn about the cytoskeleton of your cells. This network of microtubules, intermediate filaments, and microfilaments helps different types of cells maintain a unique set of characteristics, including shape and movement.

Mitochondria Structure: Cristae, Matrix and Inner & Outer Membrane

10. Mitochondria Structure: Cristae, Matrix and Inner & Outer Membrane

If you want to make it through the day, you're going to need some energy. In this lesson, we'll learn about the organelle that supplies this energy, the mitochondrion, and why this cell structure appreciates the time you took to eat breakfast this morning!

Chloroplast Structure: Chlorophyll, Stroma, Thylakoid, and Grana

11. Chloroplast Structure: Chlorophyll, Stroma, Thylakoid, and Grana

In this lesson, we'll explore the parts of the chloroplast, such as the thylakoids and stroma, that make a chloroplast the perfect place for conducting photosynthesis in plant cells.

Plant Cell Structures: The Cell Wall and Central Vacuole

12. Plant Cell Structures: The Cell Wall and Central Vacuole

In this lesson, we'll talk about some of the things that make plant cells so different from our cells. In addition to being mean, green photosynthesizing machines, plant cells have cell walls and central vacuoles to make them unique!

Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences

13. Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic Cells: Similarities and Differences

In this lesson, we discuss the similarities and differences between the eukaryotic cells of your body and prokaryotic cells such as bacteria. Eukaryotes organize different functions within specialized membrane-bound compartments called organelles. These structures do not exist in prokaryotes.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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