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Q: biology ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: biology
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: matchette-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 19 Nov 2003 19:56 PST
Expires: 19 Dec 2003 19:56 PST
Question ID: 278449
lysosomes remove nonfunctional cell parts. explain how this function
is important to the overall health of a cell.
Subject: Re: biology
Answered By: omniscientbeing-ga on 19 Nov 2003 21:35 PST
Hello matchette-ga,

In answering this question I'll be referencing the college biology
text, "BIOLOGY," by Villee, Solomon & Davis,CBS College Publishing:

Here's the definition of a lysosome, from the above text, p.73:

"Membranous sacs containing hydrolytic enzymes."

Here's a more detailed description of lysosomes:

"Intracellular digestive enzymes are manufactured along the rough ER
and then transported to the Golgi complex. There the enzymes are in
enclosed in a bit of Golgi complex membrane, which is then pinched off
and separated from the Golgi. Each little vesicle containing digestive
enzymes is a lysosome."

As far as how the lysosome's function is important to the overall
health of a cell, there are two main points to consider:

1. Lysosomes are found throught the cytoplasm. "When a white blood
cell ingests bacteria or some other scavenger cell (e.g., a
macrophage) ingests debris or dead cells, this foreign matter is
surrounded by a vesicle consisting of part of the cell membrane."

2. "In a cell that is short of fuel, lysosomes may break down
organelles so that their component molecules may be used as fuel. This
sort of self-cannabalizing is termed autophagy (eating one's self).
When a cell dies, lysosomes release their enzymes into the cytoplasm,
where they break down the cell itself. This self-destruct system
acocunts for the rapid deterioration of many cells following death."

So, lysosomes both remove foreign material from a cell; during its
life, and self-destruct a cell shortly after its death.

From the following Emory University website: ]:

"Lysosomes supply the enzymes for degradation of worn out cell parts
in a process called autophagy."

Here are some links to lead you to additional resources on this topic:

Google search strategy:


"lysosomes function":

"lysosomes purpose":

Additional search strategy:

Personal knowledge, BIOLOGY," by Villee, Solomon & Davis,CBS College Publishing

I hope this helps.

Good luck in continuing your inquiries!


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