About This Chapter
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the GRE Biology: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- GRE Biology: History of Life
- GRE Biology: Genetic Variability, Evolutionary Processes and Consequences
- GRE Biology: Inorganic Chemistry Review
- GRE Biology: Organic Chemistry Review
- GRE Biology: Cell Communication
- GRE Biology: Metabolic Biochemistry
- GRE Biology: Enzymatic Biochemistry
- GRE Biology: The Cell Cycle
- GRE Biology: Biology Lab Methods
- GRE Biology: Genetic Foundations
- GRE Biology: Nucleic Acids
- GRE Biology: DNA Replication
- GRE Biology: Genetic Mutations
- GRE Biology: The Transcription & Translation Process
- GRE Biology: Introduction to Viruses
- GRE Biology: Bacterial Biology
- GRE Biology: Recombinant DNA Methodology
- GRE Biology: Environmental Exchanges in Organismal Biology
- GRE Biology: The Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Excretory, and Musculoskeletal Systems
- GRE Biology: The Nervous, Immune, and Endocrine Systems
- GRE Biology: Male Reproductive Structures
- GRE Biology: Female Reproductive Structures
- GRE Biology: Animal Reproduction & Development
- GRE Biology: Plant Structure, Function, and Organization
- GRE Biology: Plant Reproduction, Growth, and Development
- GRE Biology: Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats
- GRE Biology: Ecological Interactions
- GRE Biology: Ecological Chemical Cycling
- GRE Biology: The Diversity of Life
- GRE Biology: Behavioral Ecology
- GRE Biology Flashcards