Lysosomes And Ribosomes: 3 Facts You Should Know

There are various specialised and sub-cellular structures within the cells. Among them lysosomes and ribosomes are two important ones. Let us check their relationship. 

Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelle that contains hydrolytic enzymes that have the capability of breaking down any biomolecules. Ribosomes are complex molecular machines that facilitate the protein synthesis within the cells through the process of mRNA translation.

Let us take a detailed idea on the ways ribosomes and lysosomes are related along with the differences and the functions of working together. 

How are lysosomes and ribosomes related?

In a cell, few of the organelles are related to the other in order to perform a specific set of functions. Let us check if ribosomes and lysosomes are related or not. 

Ribosomes and lysosomes are only related through the idea that both are two important organelles of a eukaryotic cell, otherwise, both structurally and functionally, the organelles are highly different. 

Ribosomes are a universal component and are found in both plants and animal cells whereas lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles which are mostly found in the animal cells.  

Difference between lysosomes and ribosomes

Every organelle within the cells have specific functions and distinctive structure. Let us check the differences between the lysosome and ribosome organelles. 

Both the organelles, lysosome and ribosome, are entirely different in terms of structure as well as functions, which are listed in the tabular format below: 

FactorsLysosomes Ribosomes 
Membrane Lysosomes are organelles that are membrane-bound. Ribosomes are organelles that are not membrane-bound, instead are large complexes of proteins with two subunits. 
Type of cellsLysosomes are mostly predominant within the animal cells. In the plant cells, lysosomes are rare and do not work as an important organelle.Ribosomes are found abundantly within all types of cells, plants, animals and even prokaryotes
SizeLysosomes are large and are found to be ranging between 0.1 to 1.2 micrometers. Ribosomes are very small in size and are found to be ranging from 20-30 nanometers. 
Location Lysosomes are found to be scattered in an evenly manner across the entire cytoplasmRibosomes are found within the cytoplasm where they are either bound to the endoplasmic reticulum or are scattered around the entire cells. 
SubunitsLysosomes do not have such segmentation. Ribosomes are made of two subunits of proteins and hence are segmented. 
Composition Lysosomes are composed of hydrolytic enzymes, also used for digestion and many membrane proteins. Ribosomes are composed of rRNA along with ribosomal proteins.  
FunctionLysosomes help in facilitating digestion and destroy foreign particles along with dead cells. Ribosomes are involved in protein synthesis. 
Lysosome VS Ribosomes
lysosomes and ribosomes
Lysosome and Ribosomes labelled in cell organelles from Wikimedia

Do lysosomes and ribosomes work together?

In a cell, few of the organelles have to work together in order to facilitate important cellular processes. Let us check if lysosomes and ribosomes work together in cells.

Lysosomes and ribosomes work simultaneously along with Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum in the synthesis and transportation of the proteins. The steps are as follows:

  • Step 1: All the proteins within the cells are synthesized by the organelle ribosome by decoding amino acids and making the polypeptide chains. These proteins are then transported to the Golgi apparatus using transport vesicles. 
  • Step 2: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) then engages in synthesizing the membrane proteins as well as the receptors which are then transported through cisternae and driven towards the membrane. 
  • Step 3: Lysosomes engage in regulating the functions of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. The lysosomes help in making vesicles that would facilitate the transportation of the proteins towards the plasma membrane. 


It can be concluded that both, lysosomes and ribosomes, are structurally and functionally highly different but work in a simultaneous manner to support the functioning of a cell.

Sayantani Misra

Hi, I am Sayantani Mishra, a science enthusiast trying to cope with the pace of scientific developments with a master’s degree in Biotechnology. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

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