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Lysosomes, Peroxisomes, Secretory Vesicles


A variety of small membrane-bound organelles differ primarily in their contents.

Lysosomes: Lysosomes (common in animal cells but rare in plant cells) contain hydrolytic enzymes necessary for intracellular digestion. In white blood cells that eat bacteria, lysosome contents are carefully released into the vacuole around the bacteria and serve to kill and digest those bacteria. Uncontrolled release of lysosome contents into the cytoplasm can also cause cell death (necrosis).
Peroxisomes: This organelle is responsible for protecting the cell from its own production of toxic hydrogen peroxide. As an example, white blood cells produce hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria. The oxidative enzymes in peroxisomes break down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.
Secretory Vesicles: Cell secretions - e.g. hormones, neurotransmitters - are packaged in secretory vesicles at the Golgi apparatus. The secretory vesicles are then transported to the cell surface for release.