Why are lysosomes known as suicide bags?


-Aqsa, Subject Matter Expert at Edumarz.


Solution: The lysosomes are called suicide bags because in case if a cell is infected or under pathological conditions lysosomes digest the cell organelles. They also digest the cell which is no longer of use or is malfunctioning. They are given off by the Golgi body.  

Lysosomes are found both in animal and plant cells. These can be largely observed in secretory cells like pancreatic cells, spleen cells, leucocytes, liver cells, meristematic cells, etc. Lysosomes remain surrounded by a single membrane. A dense stroma and a vacuole are present inside it. The vacuole contains about 50 hydrolytic enzymes. These substances can easily digest most of the biological substances. The hydrolytic enzymes of the lysosomes work at pH 4.5 to 4.8. 

Some of the functions of lysosome include:


  • Lysosomes digest external food particles. 

  • Lysosomes also digest materials, proteins, fats, glycogen to provide energy to the starved cells. 

  • In some cells, lysosomes are liberated out of the cell. For example, the lysosomes of sperms release enzymes that dissolve the protective coating of the ovum.

  • Lysosomes are also believed to initiate mitosis.

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