Dictyostelium cells are genetically haploid and therefore easily analyzed for mutant phenotypes. In the past, many tools and molecular markers have been developed for a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the endocytic pathway in these amoebae. This review outlines parallels and discrepancies between mutants in Dictyostelium, the corresponding mammalian cells and the symptoms of human patients affected by lysosomal and trafficking defects. Situations where knowledge from Dictyostelium may potentially help understand human disease and vice versa are also addressed.
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