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  1. Robert Insall,
  2. Laura Machesky

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001252



How to Cite

Insall, R. and Machesky, L. 2001. Cytoskeleton. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


The cytoskeleton is a fibrous meshwork of three major components – actin microfilaments, microtubules and intermediate filaments. These are assembled from soluble precursors, under precise control by many different cellular processes. Other proteins interlink filaments or travel along with them. The cytoskeleton is found in all eukaryotic cells, and is required both for the maintenance of cell structure and for the organization of many aspects of cell movement.


  • actin;
  • tubulin;
  • intermediate filament;
  • microtubule;
  • cell motility