How do lysosomes function?

1 Answer | Add Yours

justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Lysosomes are organelles found in all eukaryotic cells. They are small bags that have a single cellular layer within which are contained enzymes that help in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These enzymes help in the digestion of food to provide energy to the cell as well as other organic compounds that the cell is made up of but cannot produce on its own.The enzymes also help in the disposal of waste matter and dead organelles.

After cells create enzymes with the ability to aid in the digestion process, the enzymes are encapsulated to prevent their going to action immediately and damaging the cell itself. Lysomes are created with the help of structures created by the Golgi apparatus.

Lysosomes lie dormant within the cell till they receive a signal to release their enzymes and start the process of digestion. One fact about lysosomes that scientists have not been able to decipher is how they are able to hold the same enzymes within the cellular membrane that has the ability to digest what the membrane is made of.


We’ve answered 317,828 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question