Author: Nathan Lampson

Lysosomes play an important part in the function of a living cell. In this tutorial, you will learn about the structure and function of a lysosome, and how it uses enzymes to break down molecules, such as food molecules for the cell to use.

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Found throughout the cytoplasm of the cell, lysosomes are sacs filled with digestive enzymes.  As an organelle, lysosomes engulf food vacuoles or other cellular materials that need to be digested inside the cell.  Lysosomes are like the garbage truck inside the cell -- they process waste materials.  In addition to garbage duty, however, lysosomes also break down food and disassemble complex molecules into their simple building blocks.  Lysosomes are produced by the golgi bodies.


Lysosomes break down food molecules and leftover cellular waste.  Food is broken down by lysosomes into smaller molecules that can be more easily used by the cell.  Proteins and carbohydrates are broken into smaller units that can be used by the cell for energy or to build new molecules.