- The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a single continuous membrane-enclosed organelle made up of functionally and structurally distinct domains. The ER domains include the nuclear envelope (NE) and the peripheral ER, which is a network of tubules and sheets spread throughout the cytoplasm. The structural organization of the ER is related to its many different cellular functions. Here we will discuss how the various functional domains of the peripheral ER are organized into structurally distinct domains that exist within the continuous membrane bilayer throughout the cell cycle. In addition, we will summarize our current knowledge on how peripheral ER membranes contact various other regions of the cytoplasm including the cytoskeleton, mitochondria, Golgi, and the plasma membrane and what is known about the functions of these interactions.