Amoeboid movement

Amoeboid movement is the most common type of movement in eukaryotic cells.[1]

Amoeba proteus in motion

It is a crawling type of movement got by pushing out cell cytoplasm in the form of pseudopodia ("false feet"). The cytoplasm slides and forms a pseudopodium in front to move the cell forward.

This type of movement is observed in amoebae, slime molds and some other protozoans such as Naegleria gruberi,[2] as well as some cells in humans such as white blood cells. Sarcomas, or cancers arising from connective tissue cells, are particularly good at amoeboid movement, thus leading to their high rate of metastasis.

The exact mechanism is still unknown.[3][4] It involves actin-myosin molecules inside the cytoplasm.


  1. Nishigami, Yukinori; et al. (2013). "Reconstruction of active regular motion in Amoeba extract: dynamic cooperation between sol and gel states". PLoS ONE. 8 (8): e70317. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070317. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  2. Preston, TM; Cooper, LG; King, CA (1990). "Amoeboid locomotion of Naegleria gruberi: the effects of cytochalasin B on cell-substratum interactions and motile behavior". The Journal of protozoology. 37 (4): 6S–11S. PMID 2258833.
  3. Allen R.D. & N.S. 1978. Cytoplasmic streaming in amoeboid movement. Annual Review of Biophysics and Bioengineering 7: 469–495. [1]
  4. Van Haastert, Peter J.M. & Hotchin, Neil A. 2011. Amoeboid cells use protrusions for walking, gliding and swimming. PLoS ONE 6 (11): e27532. [2]