Microfilaments are also known as actin filaments which are fibres that are suspended in the cytoplasm. They are the polymers of the protein acting which are long chains.
Functions of microfilaments:
- Muscle contraction is considered to be one of the most important functions of the microfilaments. The basic unit of the muscle cell called myofibrils are formed in high concentrations in the muscle cells. The muscular system cells have a prominent amount of actin and that is the reason why microfilaments are also known as actin filaments. Actin and myosin which is a type of protein are responsible for the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Also, a complex form is formed which is known as actomyosin. A group of actomyosin are the basic unit of muscle tissue.
- The movement of cells is possible because of the presence of the microfilaments. This function of microfilament is important in unicellular organisms such as amoeba which makes their movement easy. Microfilaments and the cell organelles get attached to each other and by contracting, the organelle is pulled to different areas of the cell.
- Cell division is another important function which plays a vital role during the process of mitosis. Microfilaments act an aid in the process of cytokinesis in which the cell divides into daughter cells.