Largest and smallest cells

Anthony J. Pelletier Ph.D. anthonyp at
Tue Mar 9 12:05:48 EST 1999

Ian Mc wrote:
> Pete
> > Platelets OTOH are indeed fragments of megakaryocytes, but they have mRNA,
> > organelles, and protein translation may occur in them.  Does a cell have
> > to have a nucleus and/or divide to be a "cell"?  Inquiring minds want to
> > know!
> >
> > "Platelet Boy" Pete
> However so do some viruses are they cells? 

I know of no viruses that carry out translation in them. Nor do any
viruses of which I know metabolize.
Platelets perform every function of a cell except cell division. They
use energy to maintain order and gradients, they respond to signals in
their environment (they have several signal-transduction pathways in
place), they make and secrete proteins. In most ways, I would call them
a cell.



Anthony J. Pelletier, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology
The Scripps Research Institute
Mail stop SBR12
10550 North Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(619) 784-9760

anthonyp at

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