The key difference between lysosomes and ribosomes is that the lysosomes are the cell sites of degrading garbage while the ribosomes are the cell sites of synthesizing proteins.
A cell has different components, and these components play different roles within the cell that aid the survival of living organisms. Among the different cell components, lysosomes and ribosomes are two important cell components. These two structures fulfil two different functions in the cell. Hence, both are vital for cell functioning. Lysosomes contain a variety of digestive enzymes that help to degrade the unwanted things accumulated inside the cell. On the other hand, ribosomes are essential in protein synthesis. Though they are essential cell components, lysosomes are present only in eukaryotic cells while the ribosomes are present in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Lysosomes
3. What are Ribosomes
4. Similarities Between Lysosomes and Ribosomes
5. Side by Side Comparison – Lysosomes vs Ribosomes in Tabular Form
What are Lysosomes?
After all the hard work, cells need to get rid of all accumulated garbage inside them. Hence, cells carry out this task by getting help from lysosomes. Lysosomes are the cell organelles considered as garbage disposal system of cells. Thus, they are membrane-bound sacs containing various digestive enzymes that degrade unwanted and digestible materials. Also, lysosomes help in degrading the worn out organelles such as mitochondria.
Belgian scientist Christian de Duve discovered this interesting cell organelle in 1949. Lysosomes maintain slightly acidic environments within them. Therefore, all the digestive enzymes of lysosomes work at acidic pH. Hence, they are acid hydrolases. Moreover, lysosomes contain nearly 50 different digestive enzymes for the degradation of materials.
What are Ribosomes?
Ribosomes are the protein-synthesising machines of the cell. They are small structures composed of ribosomal RNA and proteins. Cells need proteins to grow, survive and aid in many cellular functions. Thus, all cellular activities require proteins. Hence, a single cell contains millions of ribosomes inside it.
Moreover, ribosomes can be found anywhere around the cell. They can be seen floating in the cytoplasm, or they can be found on the endoplasmic reticulum. And also they are present within the certain cell organelles such as chloroplasts and mitochondria.
Furthermore, a ribosome has two subunits that come together when it is the time to make proteins. Prokaryotic cells have 70S ribosomes composed of 50S and 30S subunits. On the other hand, eukaryotic ribosomes are the 80S. They contain the 40S and 60S subunits. Therefore, when comparing the sizes of prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosomes, eukaryotic ribosomes are larger than the prokaryotic ribosomes. But they carry out the same function which is the protein synthesis.
What are the Similarities Between Lysosomes and Ribosomes?
- Lysosomes and ribosomes are two cell components.
- Both are present in eukaryotic cells.
- Furthermore, they carry out essential functions in the cell.
- Also, both are situated in the cytoplasm of the cell.
What is the Difference Between Lysosomes and Ribosomes?
Lysosomes are cellular machines that destroy cell garbage while ribosomes are cellular machines that synthesize proteins from RNA molecules. Hence, this is the key difference between lysosomes and ribosomes. Furthermore, lysosomes contain an array of digestive enzymes that are capable of degrading all types of polymers of the cell while ribosomes do not contain digestive enzymes. Thus, this is a significant difference between lysosomes and ribosomes.
Another difference between lysosomes and ribosomesis that the lysosomes are present in many animal cells and most plant cells while ribosomes are found in all animal and plant cells. However, prokaryotic cells do not have lysosomes, but they have ribosomes.
The following infographic presents more information regarding the difference between lysosomes and ribosomes.
Summary – Lysosomes vs Ribosomes
In summarizing the difference between lysosomes and ribosomes; lysosomes are membrane-bound cell organelles that are capable of breaking down of all types of polymers (proteins, DNA, RNA, polysaccharides, lipids, etc.) in the cell. This ability is due to the vast array of digestive enzymes (about 50 different digestive enzymes) that they possess. Within the cell, they appear as dense spherical vesicles. On the other hand, ribosomes are small structures composed of ribosomal RNA and proteins. They are the cellular machines that make all proteins necessary for the cells. A single cell contains millions of ribosomes in the cytoplasm, attached to the membranes of ER, inside the chloroplasts and mitochondria.