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AAT Bioquest

Why Lysosomes are known as suicide bags?

Posted August 26, 2022


Answer

Lysosomes are small cell organelles found in eukaryotic cells. They appear as sphere-shaped sacs floating in the cytosol outside the nucleus. 

Lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes that are capable of breaking down biomolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates into their simplest units. In case of any damage to the cell, which may be due to age or microbial infection, lysosomes undergo autolysis and burst open, releasing the hydrolytic enzymes. The released hydrolytic enzymes digest their own cell, resulting in its death. This is why lysosomes are known as suicide bags. 

Additional resources

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

Cell Structures and Organelles

Characterization of the endolysosomal system in human chordoma cell lines: is there a role of lysosomes in chemoresistance of this rare bone tumor?

Cell Meter™ Mitochondrial Autophagy Imaging Kit *Red Fluorescence*