The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an organelle found in the cells of eukaryotic organisms. It is an interconnected network of flattened sacs or tubes encased in membranes. These membranes are continuous, joining with the outer membrane of the nuclear membrane.
Size Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum Actual Giant .05 micrometers 6 mm thick by 50 cm wide by 30 cm tall Size Ribosomes Actual 25 nanometers Giant 2 - 2.5 mm The rough e.r. takes up more than 10% of the total volume of the cell.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a large, continuous membrane-bound organelle comprised of functionally and structurally distinct domains including the nuclear envelope, peripheral tubular ER, peripheral cisternae, and numerous membrane contact sites at the plasma membrane, mitochondria, Golgi, endosomes, and peroxisomes. These domains are required for multiple cellular processes, including synthesis of proteins and lipids, calcium level regulation, and exchange of macromolecules with various organelles at ER-membrane contact sites. The ER maintains its unique overall structure regardless of dynamics or transfer at ER-organelle contacts. In this review, we describe the numerous factors that contribute to the structure of the ER.