Basic Biology


What are lysosomes?

Lysosomes, first observed by Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve (1917-) in the early 1950s, are single, membrane-bound sacs that contain digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes break down all the major classes of macromolecules including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and nucleic acids. Throughout a cell’s lifetime, the lysosomal enzymes digest old organelles to make room for newly formed organelles.

The lysosomes allow cells to continually renew themselves and prevent the accumulation of cellular toxins.

Multiple DNA molecules are entwined to form a chromosome; eukarytoic cells also contain RNA. Anatomical Chart Co.

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