Animal Cell: Structural Components

Likewise, all plant parts, animal organs, and systems are also made of structural building blocks called animal cells. The animal cells’ types, functions, and locations are different but the essential structural components of all animal cells are the same.

Structural Composition of Animal Cell

There are various types of animal cells depending upon the organs and system. Their role and location differ vastly. But there are some cell organelles typical in almost all cells. They are as follows:

Cell membrane

The outermost layer of animal cells is the cell membrane. Since animal cells lack a cell wall, the function of the cell membrane increases in the animal cells transporting the material in and out of the cell and protecting the cell organelles of the cell. 


The gel-like substance inside the cell membrane is called cytoplasm. In a similar vein as a plant cell, all the cell organelle lie inside the cytoplasm. 

Nucleus of Animal Cell

The nuclear membrane covers the nucleus and separates it from other cellular organs. There are pores in the nuclear membrane. The pores help in interaction with the cytoplasm. The components of nucleus is the nucleolus and DNA. It is the cell’s genetic material. DNA is tightly bounded with histone forming a complex called chromatin.


Mitochondria is the cell’s powerhouse because it produces energy currency (ATP) during cellular or aerobic respiration. 


Ribosomes are the cell organelles responsible for protein synthesis. DNA codes for a specific protein It is copied by messenger RNA or mRNA. The mRNA now carries the code to ribosomes which synthesize the protein by adding specific polypeptide chains.

Endoplasmic Reticulum

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a group of flattened sacs that forms a network. It processes and transports proteins. They are of two types; smooth and rough. Rough ER has ribosomes around it. And smooth ER has no ribosomes. The smooth ER synthesizes lipids, removes toxic substances, and acts as storage.

Golgi Bodies

Golgi bodies, Golgi apparatus, or Golgi complex consists of membrane-bound sacs. It receives proteins from ER and packages proteins into vesicles. Unlike ER, the Golgi complex is not interconnected. 


Centrioles are cylindrical structures. It organizes the assembly of microtubules during the division of cells.


Microtubules are hollow rods. As the animal cell lacks a cell wall, the rigidity and shape of the function are maintained by microtubules.


Microfilaments are filaments of protein found in the cytoplasm of the cell. These are structural components of the cytoskeleton and provide shape and movement to the cells. Microfilaments are made up of a group of proteins called actin.


These are the structures that consist of enzymes that help in detoxifying alcohol, breaking down fats, and forming bile acid.


Lysosomes are a group of vesicles that contains digestive enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down large molecules like organelles, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins into small parts so that cells can reuse them.


Vacuoles are another type of vesicle which are membrane-bound. Unlike plant vacuoles, animal vacuoles are not well developed. But their function is the same as plant vacuoles.


Asma Shrestha

Hello, I am Ashma Shrestha. I am currently pursing my Master's Degree in Microbiology. Passionate about writing and blogging. Key interest in virology and molecular biology

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