Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular by F. F. Nord

By F. F. Nord


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The degree of folding of the polypeptide chains of the single cytoplasmic fibrils of the same cell cannot be constant. Nevertheless, the average degree of folding of the polypeptide chains may be constant and it may be actively decreased or increased under different physiologic conditions. Energy is required to produce substances by which hydration and dehydration, folding and unfolding of the polypeptide chains are brought about. Runnstrom (122,123) found that the hydration of the cytoplasm of the sea urchin eggs is increased upon fertilization.

In large, globular, undifferentiated cells the cytoplasmic fibrils may be irregularly distributed in all directions. In some cases, however, tangential orientation of the cytoplasmic fibrils weakly prevails (94). There exists in these ceIls a certain tendency t o form concentric cytoplasmic layers. Radial orientation of the cytoplasmic fibrils may prevail during mitosis. A spiral arrangement of these fibrils was also observed (101). In elongated cells the cytoplasmic fibrils tend to be oriented in the direction of the largest extension.

The movements of cilia, flagella, and sperm tails are also due to some specific kind of folding and unfolding of polypeptide chains. These movements represent a special kind of contractility. D. IRRITABILITY AND CONDUCTIVITY The living cell is able to control its anabolic and catabolic activities. Both activities may be either increased or decreased or modified in adaptation to changing internal and external conditions. The chemical reactions, underlying these activities may be induced, inhibited, accelerated, delayed, or modified.

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