Difference Between Cytoplasm and Cytosol

The key difference between cytoplasm and cytosol is that cytoplasm is the jelly-like semi-fluid that lies inside the plasma membrane of a cell while cytosol is the aqueous component of the cytoplasm.

The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms. Cytoplasm is one of the key components of a cell. It is the jelly-like semi-fluid material found in between the nuclear envelope and cell membrane of the eukaryotic cell. The cytoplasm has three main elements: cytosol (70 %), organelles and cell inclusions. Therefore, the cytosol is a part of the cytoplasm.

What is Cytoplasm?

The cytoplasm is a transparent semisolid or gelatinous fluid. Both prokaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell contain a cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is the whole content that lies within the plasma membrane of a prokaryotic cell. However, this is slightly different in a eukaryotic cell.

The eukaryotic cell has a nucleus. Hence, the cytoplasm of a eukaryotic cell is the content which lies between the plasma membrane and nuclear membrane. The cytoplasm contains cytosol, inclusions, and organelles such as Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, and ribosomes.

These organelles are membrane-bound components, which have special functions. Cytoplasmic inclusions are insoluble small particles, including pigments, granules, droplets, and crystals.

Almost all the cellular activities take place in the cytoplasm. Some examples of these activities are cell division, glycolysis, and many biochemical reactions. Moreover, the catabolism of macromolecules takes place in the cytoplasm by enzymatic reactions. Not only that, cytoplasm participates in cell expansion and cell growth as well.

What is Cytosol?

The cytosol is the liquid part of the cytoplasm which fills the spaces in the cells. Cytosol does not contain cell organelles. Intracellular fluid or cytoplasmic matrix are two other names used to refer to the cytosol. Cytosol constitutes organic molecules, cytoskeleton filaments, salt, and water. Moreover, cytosol makes 70% of the cell cytoplasm.

In prokaryotic cells, most of the chemical reactions of the metabolism occur at cytosol. Since the main component of the cytosol is water, it is in a neutral state. And, it is very important in chemical reactions. Furthermore, cytosol comprises macromolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.

Multiple functions occur at cytosol including signal transduction, protein biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, rapid diffusion of water-soluble molecules and transportation of hydrophobic molecules. Furthermore, the cytosol is responsible for maintaining the structure and shape of the cell with the help of cytoskeleton.

What are the Similarities Between Cytoplasm and Cytosol?

  • Cytoplasm and cytosol are components of a cell.
  • The cytosol is a part of the cytoplasm.
  • Furthermore, metabolic reactions take place in both.
  • ANd, both contain water as the major component.
  • Moreover, they are found inside the cell membrane.

What is the Difference Between Cytoplasm and Cytosol?

Cytoplasm is a transparent semisolid fluid, which is present in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Cytosol is the liquid part of the cytoplasm, and 70% of the cell is made of cytosol. Thus, this is the key difference between cytoplasm and cytosol.

Furthermore, one other difference between cytoplasm and cytosol is the diversity of components. That is; the diversity of components in the cytoplasm is greater than that in the cytosol. Moreover, the cytoplasm has organelles, cytosol, and cytoplasmic inclusions while cytosol comprises organic molecules, cytoskeleton filaments, salt, and water.

Most of the cellular activities including cell division, cell growth and expansion, glycolysis, and many biochemical reactions occur at cytoplasm. Also, the activities that occur at organelles too are considered as cytoplasmic functions.

Some of them are protein synthesis at ribosomes, cell respiration at mitochondria, etc. In contrast, functions of cytosol include signal transduction, protein biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, diffusion of water-soluble molecules, transportation of hydrophobic molecules, and keeping cell shape and structure. Therefore, this is also a significant difference between cytoplasm and cytosol.

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