Microfilament: Definition, Structure, Function, and Characteristics

KOMPAS.com – The body of a living being consists of various cells and organelles, one of which is the cell cytoskeleton or what is commonly referred to as the cell skeleton.

The cell cytoskeleton or cell skeleton is a structural cell that fills the cytoplasm and plays a role in cell movement (motility) and cell stability.

The cytoskeleton itself is further divided into three main fibers, namely microfilament, microtubules, and filament intermediates.

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3 types of cytoskeletal cells

Microfilament is a network of the smallest cytoskeleton protein fibers that serve as a pathway for the movement of motor proteins called myosin (filament forming).

The type of protein that makes up the microfilament cell skeleton is actin.

Also read: Role of Soil Microorganisms

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Structure microfilament

Reporting from Biology Dictionary, the microfilament structure consists of two chain subunits of actin (globular) proteins and has polarity at the ends.

The two actin strands are wrapped around each other to form a spiral microfilament.

Microfilaments are in the form of fine, thin, long fibers with a diameter of only about 3 to 7 nanometers, so they are called the smallest cytoskeleton protein fibers.

Microfilament function

Some of the functions of the microfilament are as follows:

Reporting from The Biology Project University of Arizona, microfilament and myosin protein are responsible for muscle contraction.

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The collaboration between microfilament actin and myosin is called actomyosin which allows muscles to contract and relax and allows cell movement.

It is the actomyosin that allows single-celled animals like amoeba to move here and there.

Microfilaments function in cell stability as structures that maintain and maintain cell shape.

Its ability to build muscle contraction makes the microfilament play an important role in cytoplasmic flow.

Microfilaments contract to drain the cytoplasm in the form of nutrients, waste, and other materials to areas of the cell that require these materials.

From the cytoskeleton cell image, it can be seen that the microfilament is on the outside that surrounds the cell.

This causes the contraction of the microfilament to split the cell into two.

When DNA replication is complete, the microfilament will narrow in the middle, break off, and slowly make two distinct cells.

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Microfilament Characteristics

The characteristics of the microfilament, namely:

  • The fibers are 3-7 nanometers in diameter
  • Consists of two strands of actin protein
  • Long spiral shaped
  • Around the edge of the cell
  • Composed of thin filaments and thick filaments that intertwine salts
  • There are thicker filaments along the muscle cells



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