Lysosomes And Peroxisomes: 5 Facts You Should Know

Each and every organelle inside a cell has specific tasks to perform. Let us see in details some facts related to lysosomes and peroxisomes.

Lysosomes and peroxisomes are membrane bound organelles inside a eukaryotic cell. Lysosomes clears or washes off the damaged or any other cell contents that is of no use and peroxisomes changes the chemical state by oxidizing biomolecules in the cell space.

Lysosomes and peroxisomes also plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis. Lysosomes are also known as “trash takers” and peroxisomes are known as “maintenance workers”.

Let us discuss how peroxisomes and lysosomes are related to each other, their functions along with their similarities and differences.

How are peroxisomes related to lysosomes?

Though each cell organelle perform specific tasks, they sometimes are related either in structure or in function. Let us see the relation between peroxisomes and lysosomes.

Lysosomes and peroxisomes have enzymes within them. These enzymes degrade or break down the contaminants and toxic cell parts. Lysosomes possess hydrolase enzymes which have hydrolytic properties and peroxisomes contain oxygenase enzyme which oxidizes any substrate that comes in contact.

Both possess a good number of enzymes, only their working mechanisms differ from cell to cell as well as to their target.

What are the functions of lysosomes and peroxisomes?

As we have already mentioned, each organelle carries out specific functions for the better functioning of cell. Let us see the functions of lysosomes and peroxisomes in detail.

The term “lysosome” comes from “lyso” (lytic) which means digestive and “soma” means body. So it is collectively called the digestive body.

Given below are the major functions of lysosomes:

  • Lysosomes perform intracellular digestion.
  • Lysosomes remove or eradicate the dead or damaged cells from the layout they live in.
  • Lysosomes have a vital role in the process of metamorphosis by making the tail of tadpole larva in frog and thus plays a major role in the process of metamorphism.
  • Lysosomes aid in the fertilization process in which the head of the male gamete has lysosomes which results in the self piercing of male gamete into the ovum.
  • Lysosomes aid in the process of osteogenesis which is the formation of bone cells.
Image credits: Wikimedia

Given below are the major functions of peroxisomes:

  • Peroxisomes perform various oxidative mechanisms and reactions.
  • Peroxisomes helps in the metabolism of lipid and D-amino acids catabolism, polyamines catabolism and bile acids catabolism.
  • Different enzymes, such as peroxidase and catalase, convert reactive oxygen species generated during this process into water.
  • Photosynthesis and seed germination are facilitated by peroxisomes in plants.
  • In the process of carbon fixation, they prevent the loss of energy during photosynthesis.

Similarities between peroxisome and lysosome

As has already seen the relation between peroxisome and lysosome, let us now discuss the similarities between the two.

Both peroxisomes and lysosomes have degrading properties. Peroxisomes and lysosomes are small vesicles in shape which are enclosed in a membrane for protection and both produce enzymes to break down molecular substances inside and as well as outside the cell.

Differences between peroxisome and lysosome

Though peroxisome and lysosome have some similarities, both differ from each other as well in several aspects. Let us discuss it in detail.

The tabular column below explains major differences between lysosomes and peroxisomes.

Characteristics LysosomesPeroxisomes
DefinitionLysosomes are small vesicles with membranous outer covering that breaks down the biomolecules.Peroxisomes are small vesicles with outer membranes that break down metabolic hydrogen peroxides.
FunctionDigestion or utilization process inside and outside the cellProtects the cell from metabolic hydrogen peroxides.
OccurrenceAnimal cellsEukaryotic cells
SourceGolgi apparatus or golgi bodies or even endoplasmic reticulumEndoplasmic reticulum and they have the potential to replicate themselves.
SizeLarge in sizeSmall in size
MechanismsEndocytosis, autophagy, phagocytosisLipid biosynthesis and photorespiration biosynthesis.
Generation of energyGeneration of energy is not possible from degradative reactions or mechanisms.Oxidative reactions do produce or generate energy.
Type of enzymesHydrolytic enzyme or degradative enzymeOxidative enzymes.
Mode of ActionLysosome breaks the water bond in the biomoleculePeroxisomes catalyzes the substrates in the water bond.
Differences between peroxisome and lysosome


This article about lysosomes and peroxisomes is an exhaustive post which describes each and every process, mode of action, mechanisms in detail and also it covers the similarities and differences between lysosomes and peroxisomes in an explicit way.

Sugaprabha Prasath

Hello, I am Sugaprabha Prasath, a Postgraduate in the field of Microbiology. I am an active member of the Indian association of applied microbiology (IAAM). I have research experience in preclinical (Zebrafish), bacterial enzymology, and nanotechnology. I have published 2 research articles in an International journal and a few more are yet to be published, 2 sequences were submitted to NCBI-GENBANK. I am good at clearly explaining the concepts in biology at both basic and advanced levels. My area of specialization is biotechnology, microbiology, enzymology, molecular biology, and pharmacovigilance. Apart from academics, I love gardening and being with plants and animals. My LinkedIn profile-

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