Cell Division

Basic Cell Parts Involved in Mitosis

Cell membrane

the main function is to control what goes in and out of the cell. It is made of a double layer of lipids (fats) imbedded with odd-looking protein molecules. Because it is a fat, only some things that are very tiny, like water and oxygen pass through this part. This is where the proteins play their part. They act as carriers for larger molecules, like food. Of course the membrane must be there to keep everything inside, and so acts as a barrier. Some of those odd looking proteins also act as receptors for messages from other cells or from the blood.


is the control center of the cell. This is because the nucleus contains chromosomes that are made up of long strands of molecules called DNA. The DNA carries messages for how to put together proteins. Proteins, in turn, are used for structure (skin, muscle). Also, enzymes are proteins that are involved in all the chemical reactions of the cell. They are catalysts, which speed up the rate of the chemical reactions that are going on in the cell.


are paired organelles that are in the cytoplasm only to take part in cell division. As you will see in the diagrams of mitosis, first they duplicate and then each pair moves to a place called the pole of the cell and seems to anchor the spindle fibers.


are miniature tubes that act as the skeleton of the cell, just like our skeleton holds us together. In mitosis, the microtubules rearrange themselves into spindle fibers that stretch between the centrioles and attach to the chromosomes to move them around, as you will see in the diagrams contained in the mitosis section.