Parasitol Today. 1997 May;13(5):178-83. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(97)01038-7.


The enormous cytolytic potential of Entamoeba histolytica appeals to parasitologists and immunologists because it kills target cells in a contact-dependent reaction resembling that of cytotoxic lymphocytes. In this review, Matthias Leippe summarizes what is currently known about a family of pore-forming peptides termed 'amoebapores', to which the cytolytic effect has been attributed, and describes the structural and functional properties of these potent factors, as well as their structure-activity relationships. Finally, a comparison is made with effector molecules of the mammalian defensive system.