Biology

Difference between Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum and Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum

Main difference

The key difference between smooth endoplasmic reticulum and rough endoplasmic reticulum is that smooth endoplasmic reticulum does not contain ribosomes on its surface, while rough endoplasmic reticulum has ribosomes on its surface.

Smooth endoplasmic reticulum versus rough endoplasmic reticulum

A cell consists of several organelles. The endoplasmic reticulum is one of them and the most important organelle of the eukaryotic cell. It is found in both animal and plant cells. If we think that the cell is a multitude of membranes, the endoplasmic reticulum comprises 50% of its membrane surface. It is a site for the production, storage and transfer of proteins, lipids and hormones, etc. An electron microscope image of the endoplasmic reticulum shows its two types of surfaces. One is smooth-surfaced because it does not have ribosomes, known as the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, while another appears rough due to the presence of ribosomes known as the rough endoplasmic reticulum. So these two are the different parts of the same organelle. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is involved in the production, storage, and transfer of lipids and steroid hormones, while the rough endoplasmic reticulum is involved in the production, storage, and transfer of proteins. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum has a more tubular structure and is located in the cytoplasm, whereas the rough endoplasmic reticulum is less tubular and is located near the nuclear membrane.

Comparative chart

Smooth endoplasmic reticulum Rough endoplasmic reticulum
The part of the endoplasmic reticulum that does not contain ribosomes is known as the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. The part of the endoplasmic reticulum that contains ribosomes on its surface is known as the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Appearance
It looks smooth. It has a rough appearance due to the presence of ribosomes.
Location
It is located in the cytoplasm. It is located near the nuclear membrane.
Structure
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum has a more tubular structure. The rough endoplasmic reticulum has a less tubular structure.
Function
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is responsible for the storage, transfer, and metabolism of lipids and steroid hormones. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is concerned with the production, storage, transfer, and metabolism of proteins.
Abundance
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is abundant in cells that are involved in lipid production. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is abundant in cells involved in protein production.
What is the smooth endoplasmic reticulum?

The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is a highly tubular structure and is part of the endoplasmic reticulum. It is present in both animal and plant cells and is characterized by the absence of ribosomes. So, it has a smooth appearance. Its main function is the metabolism of lipids and steroid hormones. It also stores these molecules and plays an important role in their packaging in the form of vesicles and then transfer them to different parts. Thus, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum is found in abundance in cells involved in lipid production, eg, gland cells. It also plays a role in detoxifying the body from drugs and wastes that are produced during different metabolic activities. It is found in the cytoplasm.

What is rough endoplasmic reticulum?

The rough endoplasmic reticulum is also a tubular structure but less tubular than the smooth endoplasmic reticulum. It is also part of the endoplasmic reticulum and is found in both plant and animal cells. It is characterized by the presence of ribosomes. So, it has a rough appearance. Its main function is the synthesis and metabolism of proteins due to the presence of ribosomes on its surface. It also plays its role in the storage, packaging and transfer of proteins to different parts of the body according to your needs. Thus, the rough endoplasmic reticulum is found in abundance in cells involved in protein production, eg, liver cells. It is located near the nuclear membrane.

Key differences

  1. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is a type of endoplasmic reticulum that does not have ribosomes on its surface, while the rough endoplasmic reticulum has ribosomes.
  2. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum has a smooth appearance while the rough endoplasmic reticulum has a rough appearance.
  3. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum has a highly tubular structure, whereas the rough endoplasmic reticulum is less tubular than the smooth endoplasmic reticulum.
  4. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum spreads into the cytoplasm, but the rough endoplasmic reticulum is near the nuclear membrane.
  5. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum deals with the storage, transfer, and metabolism of lipids and steroid hormones, while the rough endoplasmic reticulum deals with the production, storage, transfer, and metabolism of proteins.
  6. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is abundant in lipid-producing cells, whereas the rough endoplasmic reticulum is abundant in protein-producing cells.
Final Thought

From the above discussion, it is concluded that the smooth endoplasmic reticulum is a highly tubular structure without ribosomes and deals with the metabolism and transfer of lipids and steroid hormones, while the rough endoplasmic reticulum is a less tubular structure with ribosomes on its surface and it involves the production, storage and transfer of proteins.

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