Definitions for lysosomeˈlaɪ səˌsoʊm
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word lysosome
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a cell organelle containing enzymes that break down proteins and other large molecules into smaller constituents and that disintegrate the cell itself after its death.
Category: Cell Biology
Origin of lysosome:
an organelle found in the cytoplasm of most cells (especially in leukocytes and liver and kidney cells)
An organelle found in all types of animal cells which contains a large range of digestive enzymes capable of splitting most biological macromolecules.
Lysosomes are cellular organelles that contain acid hydrolase enzymes that break down waste materials and cellular debris. They can be described as the stomach of the cell. They are found in animal cells, while their existence in yeasts and plants is disputed. Some biologists say the same roles are performed by lytic vacuoles, while others suggest there is strong evidence that lysosomes are indeed found in some plant cells. Lysosomes digest excess or worn-out organelles, food particles, and engulf viruses or bacteria. The membrane around a lysosome allows the digestive enzymes to work at the pH5 they require. Lysosomes fuse with autophagic vacuoles and dispense their enzymes into the autophagic vacuoles, digesting their contents. The name lysosome derives from the Greek words lysis, to separate, and soma, body. They are frequently nicknamed "suicide-bags" or "suicide-sacs" by cell biologists due to their autolysis. Lysosomes were discovered by the Belgian cytologist Christian de Duve in 1949. A group of genetic inherited disorders called lysosomal storage diseases results from the dysfunction of lysosomes. The size of a lysosome varies from 0.1–1.2 μm. At pH 4.8, the interior of the lysosomes is acidic compared to the slightly basic cytosol. The lysosome maintains this pH differential by pumping protons from the cytosol across the membrane via proton pumps and chloride ion channels. The lysosomal membrane protects the cytosol, and therefore the rest of the cell, from the degradative enzymes within the lysosome. The cell is additionally protected from any lysosomal acid hydrolases that drain into the cytosol, as these enzymes are pH-sensitive and do not function well or at all in the alkaline environment of the cytosol.This ensures that cytosolic molecules and organelles are not lysed in case there is leakage of the hydrolytic enzymes from the lysosome.
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