Questions & Answers

How do human/animal cells move?

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Hint: A cell is the basic functional unit and structural of life. Cells have numerous cellular components called cell organelles which are suspended in a fluid matrix called cytoplasm. Each and every component has their corresponding role.

Complete answer:
• A living body is made up of a group of cells called tissue which further forms an organ and an organ giving rise to the organ system which makes up an entire living system.
• Just as the skeleton provides mechanical support to the body, cytoskeleton serves the same purpose as it is a dynamic entity and gives flexibility to cells.
• There are basically 3 components of cytoskeleton out of which actin filaments help in the movement of cells by changing their shape.
• The human/animal cell moves the same as an amoeba uses pseudopodia to move towards a stimulus.
• When a cell receives a stimulus, the actin filament accumulates at the leading edge and helps in pushing the cell forward.
• Once the cell gets hold of the stimulus (for e.g. food particles) some specific protein motor helps in contracting the filaments and pulls it towards the stimulus.
• But not all the cells follow the same mechanism of movement. Some cells follow even other way of movement example-
- WBCs are special kinds of macrophages which use pseudopodia to move from one place to another.
- Sperm cells move using ‘flagella’, which acts as a propeller to help it swim efficiently
• These are the few ways an animal or human cell move or translocate from one place to another.

Note: Since cell is the basic unit of life, its various components i.e. cell organelles have their specific functions in our body. One of the cell organelle called cytoskeleton acts as the framework of the cell giving it shape and flexibility. It has 3 main components – microtubules made of tubulin protein, actin filaments and intermediate filaments. Out of these three components it is the actin filament that helps cell movement.