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[sahy-tuh-skel-i-tn] /ˌsaɪ təˈskɛl ɪ tn/
noun, Cell Biology
a shifting lattice arrangement of structural and contractile components distributed throughout the cell cytoplasm, composed of microtubules, microfilaments, and larger filaments, functioning as a structural support and transport mechanism.
Origin of cytoskeleton
Related forms
cytoskeletal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cytoskeleton
  • Nuclei are stained red and the actin cytoskeleton is stained green.
  • Prokaryotes have versions of the proteins that make up this cytoskeleton but form nothing so elaborate.
  • The cytoskeleton, composed of filaments and microtubules, anchors the organelles and gives a cell its shape.
  • The role of the cytoskeleton in shape generation and maintenance is important .
British Dictionary definitions for cytoskeleton


a network of fibrous proteins that governs the shape and movement of a biological cell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cytoskeleton in Medicine

cytoskeleton cy·to·skel·e·ton (sī'tə-skěl'ĭ-tn)
The internal framework of a cell, composed largely of actin filaments and microtubules.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cytoskeleton in Science
The internal framework of a cell, composed of a network of protein filaments and extending throughout the fluid of the cell (the cytosol). The cytoskeleton consists mainly of actin filaments and microtubules and plays an important role in cell movement, shape, growth, division, and differentiation, as well as in the movement of organelles within the cell. All eukaryotic cells have a cytoskeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cytoskeleton in Culture

cytoskeleton definition

The inner structural elements, or backbone, of a cell. It consists of microtubules and various filaments that spread out through the cytoplasm, providing both structural support and a means of transport within the cell.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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