Home » Lysosomes Structure and Function with Diagram

Lysosomes Structure and Function with Diagram

Eukaryotic animal cells contain lysosomes, which are an essential cell organelle. The unusual role they play has earned them the nickname “suicide bags” of the cell. Christian de Duve, a Belgian biologist, invented the name after he made the discovery that earned him the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. Let’s take a close look at the lysosomes structure and function with diagram.

Definition of Lysosomes

Lysosomes are a form of cell organelle that may be found in the cells of eukaryotic animals. They are spherical in shape and are capable of degrading a wide variety of biomolecules. They’ve also been labelled the “suicide bags” of the cell. Christian de Duve, a Belgian scientist, coined the name “lysosomes.” He went on to win the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology in 1974. Lysosomes have the specialised job of digesting the waste products of the cell by enveloping them with hydrolytic enzymes and then releasing the digested products.

Structure of Lysosomes

Lysosomes Structure and Function with Diagram of Lysosomes

Figure 1: Structure and Function Lysosomes Explained with Diagram of Lysosomes

Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles; the space within the membrane is called the lumen, and it contains hydrolytic enzymes and other cellular debris. The lumen’s pH is kept consistently low, between 4.5 and 2.0, giving it an acidic environment. It’s similar to how stomach acids work. Each lysosome has its own unique size. Multiple biological functions need the presence of lysosomes, including energy metabolism, waste material counting, plasma membrane repair, cell signalling, and many more.

Lysosomes as Suicidal Bags

Lysosomes, as previously established, function as the cell’s waste-disposal structures, decomposing and recycling waste products from both the outside and inside of the cell. Unfortunately, lysosomes can be damaged by digestive enzymes on occasion, leading to cell death. The word “autolysis” describes this process, in which the cell essentially destroys itself by destroying its own cell membrane. That’s why lysosomes are often called the “Suicide Bags” of the cell.

Where Lysosomes Made

Lysosomes include about 50 distinct enzymes in their composition. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is the location where their synthesis takes place. Once the enzymes have been generated, they are transported from the Golgi apparatus in very small sacs or vesicles. These vesicles or sacs subsequently fuse with larger acidic vesicles. When the enzymes made just for lysosomes are mixed with the molecule mannose 6-phosphate, they are fixed into acidic vesicles in the right way.

Functions of Lysosomes

The main job of lysosomes is to break down food and get rid of waste. Endocytosis is the process by which the cell takes in pieces of old cells or foreign matter. Endocytosis happens when the cell membrane folds in on itself (a process called “invagination”). This makes a vacuole or pouch around the outside material, which is then taken inside the cell.

On the other hand, the process of autophagocytosis or autophagy breaks down waste and other materials that come from inside the cell. Autophagy is a process in which the parts of a cell are broken down or taken apart by a natural, controlled system.

Diseases of Lysosomes

The production of lysosomal enzymes is controlled by nuclear genes. Nuclear genes are genes found within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Any abnormalities in these genes can lead to the formation of approximately 30 distinct human genetic disorders, known together as lysosomal storage diseases (LSD).

When such a mutation develops, the accumulated chemicals finally destroy the cell. This can result in cancer and a variety of other illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and problems connected with ageing.


FAQs on Lysosomes Structure and Function with Diagram

The primary role of lysosomes is to degrade and recycle cellular debris, discarded cellular contents, and foreign pathogens; nevertheless, digestive enzymes can rupture from the lysosome, causing damage to the cell and death.

Yes, Lysosomes are membrane bounded organelles found in animal and plant cells.

Mutations in nuclear genes can cause approximately 30 distinct human genetic diseases. Lysosomal storage disorders encompass a wide spectrum of genetic disorders.

Lysosomes are only found in the cells of eukaryotic organisms like animals. Lysosomes and the other membrane-bound organelles are not present in prokaryotic cells like bacteria.

Although plants lack lysosomes, their vacuoles perform similar functions. In fact, the data suggests that vacuoles house hydrolytic enzymes similar to those found in animal cells.