The Difference between Smooth and Rough ER

The basic difference between Smooth and Rough ER is that smooth endoplasmic reticulum does not contain ribosomes so its surface is smooth and performs lipid synthesis function. While rough endoplasmic reticulum contains ribosomes which are small, round organelle, have a rough surface, and perform protein synthesis.

The cell is the basic unit of life, compose of few organelles.

The endoplasmic reticulum is the most important organelle of the cell. The inner part of the endoplasmic reticulum is known as the lumen. The ER has a structure like the plasma, although it is somewhat thinner and has more proteins and few lipids than the plasma membrane.

According to their functions and composition, it has two types, Rough and smooth. The endoplasmic reticulum abbreviates as ER. Therefore, the smooth type abbreviates as SER and rough type abbreviate as RER.

This article summarizes the interesting difference between SER and RER.

Let’s learn deeply about it.

 Smooth and Rough Endoplasmic reticulum diagram

Difference between Smooth and Rough ER
Difference between Smooth and Rough ER

Differentiate between Smooth and Rough ER

1.      It does not contain ribosomes. It contains ribosomes.
2.      The entire structure looks smooth. While the entire structure looks rough.
3.      Formed mainly by a network of tubules, which join the RER. Formed of sacks and large flattened cisterns.
4.      SER most commonly present near the nuclear envelope. The RER attach to the nuclear membrane.
5.      The structure of SER is smaller than RER. RER structure is larger than SER.
6.      It does not provide. an extra portion of the cell membrane when needed. It is a reserve of the cell membrane because it provides an extra portion of the cell membrane when needed.
7.      SER has different functions for the metabolic processes in the body. Produces protein to deliver the substance to secretory vesicles, Golgi bodies, plant vacuoles, endosomes, lysosomes, and for itself.
8.      It has a very excellent role in some cells such as the adrenal cortex, liver, and muscles. RER has the ability to produce insulin in the case of pancreatic cells and for white blood cells or leukocytes, and it is responsible for the formation of antibodies.
9.      Release calcium during muscle contraction. Store minerals such as calcium.
10.  It has function such as detoxification, metabolism and steroid synthesis. While provide the place of production of ribosomes.


Like differences there are also some similarities between Smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Now let’s talk about its similarities. Here’s the detail about it.

Similarities smooth and rough ER

The similarities between smooth and rough ER are as follows;

  • Both formed by tubules and membranous vesicles.
  • They make up the Endomembrane Systems or Cytoplasmic Vacuolar systems.
  • Both constitute a true internal circulatory system.

What is Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum?

The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is a series of tubules and ducts found within a cell. It lacks ribosomes that are attached to the cell membranes. It is for this reason that it receives the name of smooth. Hence the smooth endoplasmic reticulum continues into the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Generally, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum reduces in cells. However, these organelles are abundant in hepatocytes, in cells responsible for secreting steroid hormones, and in striated muscle cells.

This organelle performs a few important functions for the cell and for the proper maintenance of the body.

  • Lipid synthesis
  • Detoxification
  • Dephosphorylation of glucose-6-phosphate
  • Intracellular calcium reserve

Smooth ER function?

The smooth ER is significant in the amalgamation of lipids, for example, cholesterol and phospholipids, which structure all the layers of the creature.

Also, it is significant for the blend and discharge of steroid hormones from cholesterol and other lipid antecedents. Moreover, it is engaged with sugar digestion. For example, the last response of gluconeogenesis happens in the lumen of the smooth ER since it contains the compound glucose-6-phosphatase. This chemical catalyzes the creation of glucose from glucose-6-phosphate.

The dynamic idea of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum is especially significant in the liver that detoxifies various substances and makes them simple to expel from the body. For example, when there is an abrupt and extreme increment in the measure of some lipid dissolvable medications in the body, the smooth ER of hepatocytes in the liver use them into water-solvent mixes, with the goal that they can be discharged in the pee. So as to do this, the smooth ER system of a hepatocyte can almost twofold in measure and afterward return to its unique shape and size after the substance attack has been killed.



What is a Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum?

Rough endoplasmic reticulum surround by other organelles called ribosomes, which are responsible for protein synthesis. It is also known as the granular endoplasmic reticulum. This organelle can only be found in eukaryotic cells. It has different tubes that are distributed throughout the cytoplasm.

In particular, it is responsible for the transfer of these proteins into the Golgi apparatus.

The main task of RER is to process proteins and move them from the nucleus to the ribosomes along its surface.

The function of the rough endoplasmic reticulum are as follows;

  • Protein synthesis
  • Quality control
  • Ergastoplasma varieties


What does the rough er do? The RER, studded with a large number of film bound ribosomes, is associated with the creation, collapsing, quality control, and despatch of certain proteins. Smooth ER is to a great extent connected with lipid (fat) assembling and digestion and steroid creation hormone creation. It additionally has a detoxification work.

Rough ER function?

The rough er assumes various jobs inside the cell, generally connected with protein amalgamation. Polypeptides are orchestrated, altered, collapsed into their right 3-D shape and arranged towards an organelle or set apart for discharge. It likewise assumes a significant job in regulating the reaction of cell to stretch and in quality control for right protein collapsing.

At the point when the quantity of unfurled proteins builds, cells change their tubules:sheets proportion. This could emerge from the surrounding region accessible inside the sheets of the harsh ER to save unfurled protein, or could mirror the requirement for the particular proteome of the unpleasant ER.

The unpleasant ER’s proteome mirrors its particular job inside the cell. It contains chemicals engaged with RNA digestion that dilemma to and change RNA. This is vital since the organelle is associated with making an interpretation of RNA into protein.

It additionally contains proteins that perceive different sign arrangements inside a developing polypeptide, and help in their movement. Glycosylation chemicals and proteins that go about as sub-atomic chaperones that guarantee appropriate collapsing of the integrated polypeptides are likewise significant proteins inside this organelle. Once in a while, apoptosis is instigated by the ER in light of an abundance of unfurled protein inside the cell. This capacity intercedes in association with mitochondria.

 Golgi Apparatus and Endoplasmic Reticulum Difference

Both are crucial cell components mainly found within the eukaryotic cell. Both are two distinct organelles of the cell but they very much associated with each other playing their parts in the intracellular environment.

Golgi Apparatus possesses fluid-filled sacs AKA cisternae. It is additionally interacted and continued along with tubules with the vesicles & saccule edges.

On the other hand, Endoplasmic Reticulum possesses a vast membrane-bounded grid of tubules & sacs. It captures a large physical space within the cell and also familiar as the widest cell entity. It owns a wider intra-structure than the Golgi apparatus.


golgi apparatus structure
golgi apparatus structure



In the above article, we got a basic overview on the difference between Smooth and Rough ER. Both are cell distinct entities employed to perform distinct functions. Both these entities got their names strictly on the basis of their physical appearances as SER is called because of its smooth appearance on the other hand RER called because of its rough physical appearance which can also be observed in the above image

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