The job of cytoplasm is to support the structures of the cell. The gel-like substance is composed of vitamins, proteins, sugars, nucleic acids, amino acids, ions and fatty acids.
Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells have different structures, but they both contain cytoplasm. In a prokaryotic cell, which does not contain a true nucleus, the cytoplasm contains enzymes and ribosomes. Ribosomes synthesize proteins within the cell. In bacteria, which are prokaryotic organisms, water makes up approximately 80 percent of the cytoplasm.
The cytoplasm of a eukaryotic cell, which has a nucleus, is found between the nucleus and the plasma membrane. In this type of cell, the cytoplasm supports several different types of organelles.These organelles include smooth endoplasmic reticulum, rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and lysosomes. Each organelle suspended in the cytoplasm has specific functions. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum is the site of lipid synthesis. Rough endoplasmic reticulum contains ribosomes, which synthesize proteins. The mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, a substance that provides energy for the cell. Mitochondria also serve as the site of cellular respiration. Lysosomes contain enzymes that break down large molecules. Because cytoplasm contains these important organelles, it serves as a site for energy production and storage as well as several metabolic processes.