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Infect Immun. 1985 Nov;50(2):478-82.

Activation of a heat-stable cytolytic protein associated with the surface membrane of Naegleria fowleri.


Surface membrane-enriched fractions of Naegleria fowleri obtained after isopycnic centrifugation experiments contain a potent cytolytic activity as determined by hemolysis and 51Cr release assays. This surface membrane cytolysin was unaffected by a treatment at 75 degrees C for 30 min and accounted for 70 to 90% of cytolysis by whole-cell lysates of amoebae. This heat resistance as well as intimate membrane association distinguished the surface membrane cytolytic activity from a second heat-labile cytolytic activity which appears to be latent within lysosomes. The surface membrane cytolysin was found to be specifically activated by diluted samples of lysosomal fractions. The possible role of this surface membrane cytotoxin in the pathogenicity of N. fowleri is discussed.

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