ID #2140

Since a mitochondria and a lysosome have different membranes, how does a mitochondria fuse with a lysosome?

All membranes have a similar composition (phospholipids, some proteins) so that they can fuse together even if they are coming from different organelles or even different cells.  However, a lysosome is not supposed to randomly fuse with properly functioning organelles -- think about how bad an idea that would be for a cell. So the path that leads to the removal and destruction of something like a mitochondrion begins with that organelle getting wrapped in a membrane that a lysosome "recognizes" and will bind with. A lipid may be a lipid, but a biological membrane has a specific identity.

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