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endoplasmic reticulum

noun Cell Biology.
  1. a network of tubular membranes within the cytoplasm of the cell, occurring either with a smooth surface (smooth endoplasmic reticulum) or studded with ribosomes (rough endoplasmic reticulum), involved in the transport of materials.
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Origin of endoplasmic reticulum

First recorded in 1945–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for endoplasmic reticulum

endoplasmic reticulum

noun
  1. an extensive intracellular membrane system whose functions include synthesis and transport of lipids and, in regions where ribosomes are attached, of proteins
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

endoplasmic reticulum in Medicine

endoplasmic reticulum

n.
  1. The membrane network in cytoplasm that is composed of tubules or cisternae. Some membranes carry ribosomes on their surfaces while others are smooth.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

endoplasmic reticulum in Science

endoplasmic reticulum

[ĕn′də-plăzmĭk]
  1. An organelle consisting of a network of membranes within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells that is important in protein synthesis and folding and is involved in the transport of cellular materials. The endoplasmic reticulum can be continuous in places with the membrane of the cell nucleus. The function of the endoplasmic reticulum can vary greatly with cell type, and even within the same cell it can have different functions depending on whether it is rough or smooth.♦ The rough endoplasmic reticulum is a series of connected flattened sacs that have many ribosomes on their outer surface. Rough endoplasmic reticulum synthesizes and secretes serum proteins (such as albumin) in the liver, and hormones (such as insulin) and other substances (such as milk) in the glands.♦ The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is tubular in form and is involved in the synthesis of phospholipids, the main lipids in cell membranes. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum is the site of the breakdown of toxins and carcinogens in the liver, the conversion of cholesterol into steroids in the gonads and adrenal glands, and the release of calcium ions in the muscles, causing muscle contraction. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum also transports the products of the rough endoplasmic reticulum to other cell parts, notably the Golgi apparatus. See more at cell.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.