Cytosol

The Cytosol or intracellular fluid (cytoplasmic matrix) is the liquid found inside cells. It is separated into compartments by membranes.

The contents of a eukaryotic cell within the cell membrane (excluding the cell nucleus), is referred to as the cytoplasm. In prokaryotes, most of the chemical reactions of metabolism take place in the cytosol, while a few take place in membranes or in the periplasmic space. In eukaryotes, while many metabolic pathways still occur in the cytosol, others are contained within organelles.

The Cytosol is a complex mixture of substances dissolved in water. Although water forms the large majority of the cytosol, its structure and properties within cells is not well understood. The concentrations of ions such as sodium and potassium are different in the cytosol than in the extracellular fluid; these differences in ion levels are important in processes such as osmoregulation and cell signaling. The cytosol also contains large amounts of macromolecules, which can alter how molecules behave, through macromolecular crowding.

The cytosol has no single function and is instead the site of multiple cell processes. Examples of these processes include signal transduction from the cell membrane to sites within the cell, such as the cell nucleus, or organelles.

Major function of cytosol is to transport metabolites from their site of production to where they are used. This is relatively simple for water-soluble molecules, such as amino acids, which can diffuse rapidly through the cytosol. However, hydrophobic molecules, such as fatty acids or sterols, can be transported through the cytosol by specific binding proteins, which shuttle these molecules between cell membranes.

Source from: Wikipedia

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