• Robert A. Reid
  • Rachel M. Leech
Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (TLB)


Cell biology is a continuing saga of controversy, speculation and progress. Having adopted a strategy of divide and conquer, the researchers of the 1940s and 50s were faced with the task of defining the cell fractions the new techniques had produced. Amidst controversies that seem strange in retrospect (e.g. whether mitochondria originated from microsomes or vice versa!) a new organelle was discovered—the lysosome (figure 7.1). The discovery was made in 1955 by de Duve who observed that the activity of acid hydrolases in animal tissue homogenates increased with time, and proposed that these enzymes were present inside vesicles that became leaky with age. In face of arguments that the enzymes had probably leaked out of damaged mitochondria, de Duve maintained that a new organelle was involved, which he named the lysdkdme to indicate that the internal enzymes only became apparent when the membrane was lysed. For this and a brilliant series of experiments on lysosomes, de Duve shared the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physiology with Palade, of endoplasmic reticulum fame, and Claude, another cell biology pioneer.


Lysosomal Enzyme Lysosome Membrane Lysosomal Storage Disease Coated Vesicle Acid Hydro Lases 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further Reading

  1. Dean, R. T. (1977) Lysosomes and membrane recycling. Biochem. J. 168, 603–605.Google Scholar
  2. Hall, J. L., Flowers, T. J. & Roberts, R. M. (1974) Plant Cell Structure and Metabolism. Ch. 12 Lysosomes. Longman.Google Scholar
  3. Holtzman, E. (1975) Lysosomes: a Survey. (Cell Biology Monographs No. 3) Springer Verlag, Wien.Google Scholar
  4. Neufield, E., Lim, T. & Shapiro, L. (1975) Inherited disorders of lysosomal metabolism. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 44, 357–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Literature Cited

  1. Dean, R. T. & Barrett, A. J. (1976) Lysosomes. Essays in Biochemistry 12, 1–40.Google Scholar
  2. De Duve, C. (1959) Lysosomes, a new group of cytoplasmic particles. In Subcellular Particles, (ed. T. Hayashi) 129–159. Ronald Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Dingle, J. T. (1973) Lysosomal enzymes in skeletal tissues. In Hard Tissue Growth, Repair and Remineralisation (Ciba Foundation Symp. 11), pp. 295–313.Google Scholar
  4. Goldstein, J. L., Anderson, R. G. W. & Brown, M. S. (1979) Coated pits, coated vesicles and receptor mediated endocytosis. Nature 279, 679–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goldstein, J. L. & Brown, M. S. (1977) The low density lipoprotein pathway and its relation to atherosclerosis. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 46, 897–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Novikoff, A. B. (1973) In Lysosomes and Storage Diseases (eds. Hers, H.G., Van Hoof, F.). Academic Press, New York and London.Google Scholar
  7. Novikoff, A. B. (1974) In The Cytopharmacology of Secretion, Advan. Cytopharmacol. 2 (eds. Ceccarrelli, B., Clementi, F. & Meldolesi, J.). Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Reijngoud, D.-J. (1978) The pH and transport of protons in lysosomes. Trends in Biochem. Science 3, 178–180.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. A. Reid and R. M. Leech 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Reid
    • 1
  • Rachel M. Leech
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkEngland

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