Definition: What space Pseudopods?

Also well-known as pseudopodia (singular noun: pseudopodium), pseudopods room temporary expansions of the cytoplasm (also described as false feet) offered for locomotion and also feeling. They can be uncovered in every sarcodines and also a number of flagellate protozoa that either exist as parasites or as free living organisms.

In greater animals, pseudopods have the right to be it was observed in a number of leukocytes (phagocytic cells) that usage the framework to trap and also destroy invading microbes. Depending upon the type of cell, over there are 4 main species that not only vary in figure (and general morphology), but also have various functions.

For instance, in part organisms, pseudopods save microtubules that considerably contribute to cell movement. 


There space four varieties of pseudopods the include:




Line art illustration of an amoeba at Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated come the Wikimedia FoundationPearson Scott Foresman

Types the Pseudopodia


Filopodia are slender actin-based structures that serve sensory and locomotory functions. Like other pseudopods, filopodia space cellular protrusions and thus prolong from the cell surface. However, contrasted to pseudopods found in single-celled organisms, filopodia space mostly discovered in some cells of multicell organisms wherein they extend into the extracellular matrix and are associated in signaling.

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* Some single-celled organisms such together members of the genus Dictyostelium usage filopodia because that feeding. 

Filopodia Formation

The development of filopodia starts through the nucleation of actin filaments under the affect of nucleators (a team of proteins). Although two models have been propose to explain filopodia initiation (induction), the process appears to be triggered by the binding the GTPase Cdc42 to vital regulator well-known as N-WASP.

This outcomes in the activation that N-WASP which consequently binds to Profilin and Arp2/3 to type a complicated that nucleates the formation of a brand-new pseudopod.

Although two models that filopodia initiation have actually been propose , these being convergent elongation model and also the guideline nucleation model, further studies have shown that they are not mutually exclusive.

According to this studies, the two models deserve to actually co-exist particularly when considering the diverse and variable nature of these structures. 


With regards to structure, filopodia are slender, cylindrical protrusions that selection between 100 and 200nm in diameter and also 10um in length. However, several of the filopodia top top the cabinet surface room extremely quick barely protruding native the cabinet surface. This filopodia are recognized as microspikes.

The actin filaments (10 come 30) make up the main core of the structure. Here, the filaments room tightly packed together in a parallel manner to kind the column of the pseudopod. 

Within the filopodia, the filaments overlap and also are to adjust in uniform polarity; where the barbed end of the filament is oriented in the direction of the filopodial reminder of the structure. The barbed wind up in the tip complicated that consists of actin-binding proteins and also filaments. At the base an ar of the pseudopod, the filaments run into the actin internet located beneath the cell membrane. 

While the addition of actin monomers to the actin filaments take place at the reminder of the framework as that extends in length, the filaments have actually been shown to continually bike backward in the direction of the base with a retrograde flow which is myosin-dependent. It"s the rate in between this flow and also monomer addition at the top that influences the overall rate of growth.

Based on electron tomography studies, result have presented this growth to be at a price of about 0.2um/s (which deserve to increase to about 25um a minute) before the structure reaches the an important length. At this point, filopodia will certainly either produce brand-new actin frameworks or begin retracting.

Having reached the crucial length, some filopodia have been shown to bind and also fuse through the plasma membrane developing actin bundles. 


* Filopodia are flexible sufficient to tide in the extracellular matrix. However, they are also sufficiently strong which allows the structure integrity to it is in maintained also when the framework extends to over 30um in length.

Some that the most common varieties of filopodia include:


· Cytonemes - found in the wings of Drosophila species, this form of filopodia can thrive to over 800um wherein they are associated in cell to cabinet communication 


· Myopodia - A form of filopodia that deserve to be uncovered on the cell surface of muscle cells whereby they intermingle with other types of filopodia.


In multicell organisms, filopodia beat a number of physiological features including wound healing, cell signaling and cell development. Offered that filopodia extend into the extracellular matrix, they space able to sense chemicals in their neighboring which in turn permits the cell to answers appropriately.

Here, receptors within filopodia receive chemical information in the extracellular procession which is climate transmitted downwards come the cabinet (through a signaling pathway). 

In the extracellular matrix, filopodia may identify targets forced for adhesion which permits for the generation of guidance cues as well as traction forces that at some point contributes to the motion of the cell. With this process, cells are qualified of such activities as axonal course finding and also adhesion come epithelial cell that add to cell migration. 


* Filopodia likewise contribute come adhesion zippering, a process where they participate in cell alignment and also adhesion that reduces the gap in between cells.


Like filopodia, axopodia are long and also thin protrusions native the cells. However, they are an ext rigid (and thus show up needle-like) than filopodia which tends to be an ext flexible in nature. They deserve to be uncovered on the cell surface ar of assorted organisms (e.g. Members that the phylum Antinopoda) where they are affiliated in feeding and locomotion. 


In these organisms, axopodium (Sin. Axopodium) originate from axoplasts (a membrane-bound cavity near the cell core that consists of microfibrillar material and granulum). Here, the microfibrils to organize to construct the wall surfaces of microtubules i beg your pardon then kind parallel rows that are joined through links.

Based on microscope studies, this microtubules have actually been shown to form interlocking twin coils (with around 500 tubules producing around 5 transforms of the coil). 

The microtubules comprise the core of the axoneme (which is the central part that the axopodia) operation along the whole length the the structure. Except the microtubules, the framework is likewise composed of cytoplasm i m sorry carries such organelles as mitochondria to and also from the cytosome. 


* In a cell, axopodia emerge from axoplasts v pores situated on the capsule wall. Depending on the organism, these pores vary in size and also numbers. Vice versa, polycystines have been presented to contain plenty of of these pores, phaeodarians contain about three of this pores.

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The shortening the axopodia has been shown to occur throughout feeding. Because that instance, having caught food, the rapid contraction has actually been presented to occur because of the break down of microtubules. Adhering to the contraction, the axopods then start elongating at the normal rate until they with the normal length.


Some that the main features of axopodia include:


·  strict - together such, castle are much more resistant to bending compared to the various other pseudopods

· Thin and elongated - Needle-like

· During unfavorable conditions, they deserve to retract (rapid contraction) whereby the filaments room reabsorbed adhering to the dispersion the fibrils in the axoplasm

· Axopodia microtubules have a diameter of about 220 A

· Axopodia are likewise lost throughout cell division 

· Have a sticky surface ar which is attributed to the visibility of extrusomes 



For together organisms as members that the course Actinopoda, axopodia play critical role in feeding. As already mentioned, axopodia have actually a sticky substance top top their surface that is created by mucocysts. In addition, they additionally possess kinetocysts the eject thread-like frameworks that properly trap their prey.

Using this extrusomes, these organisms room able to trap food product (or prey) which room then transported come the cell body with the cytoplasmic stream. While smaller sized prey can be trapped and captured by a single axopodiaum, larger ones are entangled in several axopodia. In some cases, number of individuals have been presented to participate in trapping larger prey. 

Support and also Locomotion

Apart indigenous feeding, axopodia have additionally been presented to help maintain protists in place in water and even contribute to locomotion. For instance, v a controlled readjust in length of axopods, a number of heliozoa have been displayed effectively transverse in aquatic environments. This, in other organisms, is accomplished through the expansion and contraction of ectoplasmic vacuoles located between the axopodia.

Here, the biology is maybe to remain in place or control the direction to which they look for to move. During cell division, both the axopodia and also ectoplasm space lost leading to the biology to sink to the bottom.