Sarcoplasmic Reticulum

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The Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) is the equivalent of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), only specialized to smooth and striated (cardiac and skeletal) muscle cells, It controls the release of calcium ions into the cell, thus being a main part in the control of muscle contraction. In smooth muscle cells, the SR is much less developed.

The Sarcoplasmic Reticulumis a specialized type of endoplasmic reticulum that is found in the cytoplasm of striated muscle cells[1]. The tubular structures surround the myofibrils of the muscle cell and their function is to store Ca2+ ions, until they are released when triggered by electical impulses travelling down T-tubules[2]. This triggers contraction of the muscle via the sliding filament theory[3], which occurs until the Ca2+ is actively pumped back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum.


  1. Albert et al., molecular biology of the cell, fifth edition, Garland sciences, Newyork,
  2. Alberts et al., Molecular biology of the cell, Fifth edition, Garland science, Taylor and francis group, New York
  3. Alberts et al.,2008, Molecular biology of the cell, Fifth edition, Page 1026, New York, garland science.
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