MAC are formed during the process of antibody-mediated complement activation. As this complex of complement proteins forms on the surface of a plasma membrane, it assumes a twisted cylindrical shape punching a pore through the membrane. The formation of MAC molecular complexes is most often targeted to the cell membranes of pathogens. Because MAC pores allow an unregulated free flow of molecules in and out of the plasma membrane they cause lysis and death of the pathogen.
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