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lysosomeLysosom (ger.)

  • A cytoplasmic cell organelle widely found in animal tissues which contains hydrolytic enzymes enclosed in a membrane. (OED)

    The fact that the other enzymes in this group [acid phosphatase, ribonuclease, deoxyribonuclease, cathepsin and 80 %, if not all, of the β-glucuronidase activity] are dissociated from cytochrome oxidase almost as markedly as acid phosphatase, and show distribution patterns very similar to that of the latter enzyme, justify the provisional conclusion that they belong to granules of the same class. For practical purposes, it is proposed to refer to these granulesas lysosomes, thus calling attention to their richness in hydrolytic enzymes.

    Duve, C. de et al. (1955). Tissue fractionation studies, 6. Intracellular distribution patterns of enzymes in rat liver tissue. Biochem. J. 60, 604-17: 615.


    The name “lysosome” was proposed when it was found that, in rat liver, as many as five distinct acid hydrolases with widely different specificities appeared to be associated together within a special group of cytoplasmic particles (de Duve et al. 1955).

    Duve, C. de et al. (1963). The lyosome concept. In: Reuck, A.V.S. de & Cameron, M.P. (eds.). Ciba Foundation Symposium on Lysosomes, 1-31: 1.