Lysosomes resemble garbage cans. As we all use garbage cans in our houses to remove unwanted materials, every cell of eukaryotic organisms uses lysosomes (suicidal bags) as garbage cans to remove damaged or harmful biomaterials from the cells. The lysosomes protects cells from free radical effects, toxins, unwanted molecules, and molecules released by pathogens and by collecting all unwanted materials from the environment within the cell.
In another way, lysosomes can be represented as the recycling bin that we find on our computers, where the deleted files are stored, keeping our computers’ software safe from broken or unwanted files.
An analogy is a comparison between two things that are similar to one another, and teachers use this strategy in the classroom to clarify and deconstruct difficult ideas. The lysosome is comparable to a number of things we encounter every day. Some lysosomal analogies are given in this article.
Lysosomes are like Waste-disposal centers and Food processing units
Lysosomes are comparable to a city’s waste-disposal and recycling centers, or junctions. So, it is possible to compare them to a city’s waste management centers. They may also be referred to as real-life “food processing units” due to the presence of numerous digestive enzymes that process complex food components into smaller ones.
Lysosomes are like City Police
Lysosomes can be considered the city’s police officers as they protect the cell as police do.
Similar to how city police protect the city from dangerous people, they serve as defenders of cells and protect the cytoplasm from obtrusive or harmful chemicals. Lysosomes merge with encroaching microorganisms to digest them.
As a result, lysosomes are thought of as the city’s policemen, constantly patrolling the cytoplasm for signs of intruders and working with the immune system to improve all-around protection.
Lysosomes are like School Teachers
Teachers at the school can be compared to the lysosomes. Because they break down complex concepts for students to understand better, teachers in a school are analogous to lysosomes in a cell. This is similar to how lysosomes in a cell break down various complex components in a cell.
Lysosomes are like Factory Crew
The lysosomes serve as the cellular maintenance crew, similar to the crew of a well-established factory. The maintenance crew serves as an additional line of defense in creating a healthy environment in the factory. A competent maintenance crew or team is also necessary in any factory to remove the trash, guide directions, and disassemble and discard outdated equipment. The maintenance crew is typically responsible for catching trespassers and chasing them away if someone manages to get past the security guard at the factory entrance.
Lysosomes are like castle‘s maids
Because they clean and get rid of waste like a castle’s maids, the Lysosomes are considered as maids of castle. Similar to a moat of a fortress, the cell membrane divides the outside cell from the inner cell.
If you still want to make a biological comparison of the lysosome, the lysosome can be compared to our stomach, liver, and spleen.
Lysosomes are like Stomach
The stomach is an organ that contains enzymes to digest consumed food and helps in the absorption of essential nutrients and the removal of unwanted materials.
The stomach has an acidic composition. Between 1.5 and 3.5 is the pH range of stomach acid. The moderate amounts of acid secreted in the stomach serve to facilitate the function of several digestive enzymes, which are involved in the digestion of consumed food materials. Similarly, lysosomes are acidic chambers loaded with more than 60 distinct types of hydrolases. Lysosomes have an acidic interior pH ranging from 4.8 to 5, which facilitates the lysosomal digestive enzymes to break down the extracellular, old, or unwanted components of the cells.
Lysosomes are like Liver
If you are familiar with the liver’s role in our bodies, you can quickly understand how lysosomes function in cells. The liver transforms the blood into nutrients to make them more readily absorbed by the body and also breaks down drugs to make them non-toxic. It also regulates the synthesis of harmful materials and releases essential materials.
Lysosomes are like Spleen
Lastly, the spleen performs several crucial tasks in our body, including warding off bloodborne infections by producing white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections caused by harmful pathogens. It filters the blood, removes any old or damaged red blood cells, and regulates the quantity of blood cells (platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells).
To gain a thorough understanding and a clear understanding of how the activities of the given examples can be comparable with lysosomes, read the summary of lysosome function in the cells provided below.
Function of Lysosomes
- The term “recycle bins of the cells” also applies to lysosomes, which are referred to as the cell’s suicide bags.
- Both intracellular and extracellular components can be digested by lysosomes.
- They have a significant role in autophagy. Autophagy is the term for the natural cellular mechanism by which a cell gets rid of undesirable or dysfunctional components through a lysosome-dependent cellular degradation machinery.
- When extra secretory materials need to be removed from the body, lysosomes play a role in this process known as crinophagy (secretion). Cellular substances that are overproduced in cells are found in the secretory granules (granules with lysosomes). For instance, these secretory granules will get rid of an excess of a hormone like insulin in the body.
- Blood clots are broken up by the action of lysosomes.
- The modified lysosome known as the acrosome, which is found at the tip of the sperm, is essential for fertilization.
- The lysosome participates in phagocytosis as well. Particles larger than 0.5 m in diameter, such as foreign materials, microbes, microbial substances, and apoptotic cells, are taken in and excreted by cells through the process of phagocytosis.
- The phagosome, a distinct organelle, holds the unwanted particles once they have been internalized. Following that, this phagosome undergoes a process known as phagosome maturation that alters both the membrane’s structure and the concentration of its components. The phagosome then fuses with lysosomes to form a phagolysosome. This new organelle has enzymes that can break down the internalized particle by phagocytosis.
- During periods of starvation, the lysosome is essential for supplying the body with nutrients.
- They contribute to thyroid hormone secretion. For this to occur, initially, hydrolytic enzyme-containing lysosomes move from the cell’s bottom to its apex to fuse with the colloid droplets containing prohormone such as thyroglobulin. These newly formed organelles, known as phagolysosomes, then lyse the thyroglobulin to release the hormonal amino acids triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
- Lysosomes also play a role in how organisms develop, for instance, lysosomal enzymes are essential to the process of tadpole tail decomposition during metamorphosis.
- They play a role in the uterus, Mullerian, and Wolffian bags, as well as other structures and organs, regressing after periods.
- Both antigen-presenting cells and proteolytic cells contain the lysosome, which is a crucial organelle for the digestion of pathogenic molecules by macrophages, which are immune system scavenging cells.
- As a result, the immune system’s abnormal macrophages are used as a diagnostic indicator for Gaucher’s disease.
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- Uribe-Querol E and Rosales C (2020) Phagocytosis: Our Current Understanding of a Universal Biological Process. Front. Immunol. 11:1066. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01066.
- Hsu M, Safadi AO, Lui F. Physiology, Stomach. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535425/
- Kapila V, Wehrle CJ, Tuma F. Physiology, Spleen. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537307/
- Kalra A, Yetiskul E, Wehrle CJ, et al. Physiology, Liver. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535438/