AAT Bioquest

What is the difference between ribosome and lysosome?

Posted October 19, 2020


Ribosomes and lysosomes are both found within cells where they perform vital cellular functions. That’s basically where the similarities end. Here’s how these two structures are different from each other. 

Macromolecules, not enclosed by a membraneMembrane-enclosed organelle
Consists of two subunits of different sizesConsists of one unit
Size range: 20 nanometer to 30 nanometerSize range: 0.1 micrometer to 1.2 micrometer
Found in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cellsFound only in eukaryotic cells
May be scattered unevenly in the cytoplasm or attached to the rough endoplasmic reticulum within the cytoplasmDistributed evenly in the cytoplasm
Composed of rRNA and ribosomal proteinsComposed of membrane proteins and digestive enzymes
Plays a key role in synthesis of proteins and translation of mRNAsPlays a key role in intracellular digestion and destruction of dead cells
Additional resources

The awesome lysosome

Cell Navigator® Lysosome Staining Kit *Green Fluorescence with 405 nm Excitation*