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Cell Biology – Lysosomes: The Suicide Bags

The human body is complex and there are several things that we do not understand about the same. This fact about us rather fascinating and so are the lysosomes. Among the different kinds of cells that are found in our body, one such type is lysosome, the suicide bag. It is called a suicide bag for a reason.

Lysosomes have digestive enzymes with rather low pH and, therefore, are acidic. This acid can be harmful for the rest of the content in the organelle. However, it is taken care of with a compartment to where the acid is limited. These acids are required at the time of digestion. Well, that is not where the function of lysosome is limited to.

Lysosome is an organelle that is bound by a membrane and is shaped like a kidney bean. The main function of the cell is storage. Sometimes, the large molecules will not break down leading to dysfunction of the body. Lysosomes also have a counter mechanism for such an occurrence.

Another function, though rarely, performed by lysosome is ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and other harmful foreign cells. Lysosome also repairs itself. Although, in case the damage done to the organelle is far worse and irreversible, the lysosome also has the ability to kill itself, hence called suicide bags. This phenomenon where the cell destroys itself is termed as apoptosis.