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interferon

[ in-ter-feer-on ]
/ ˌɪn tərˈfɪər ɒn /
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noun
Biochemistry. any of various proteins, produced by virus-infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection.
Also called al·pha-in·ter·fer·on [al-fuh-in-ter-feer-on] /ˈæl fəˌɪn tərˈfɪər ɒn/ .Pharmacology. an interferon produced by genetically engineered bacteria and harvested for use against hairy cell leukemia.
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Origin of interferon

First recorded in 1957; interfere + -on1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use interferon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for interferon

interferon
/ (ˌɪntəˈfɪərɒn) /

noun
biochem any of a family of proteins made by cells in response to virus infection that prevent the growth of the virus. Some interferons can prevent cell growth and have been tested for use in cancer therapy

Word Origin for interferon

C20: from interfere + -on
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for interferon

interferon
[ ĭn′tər-fîrŏn′ ]

Any of a group of glycoproteins that are involved in blocking viral replication in newly infected cells and are cytokines that modulate the body's immune response. Alpha interferon is used a treatment for viral hepatitis and certain cancers, such as leukemia. Beta interferon is used as a treatment for some types of multiple sclerosis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for interferon

interferon
[ (in-tuhr-feer-on) ]

A protein produced by cells after they have been exposed to a virus. Interferon prevents the virus from reproducing within the infected cells and can also induce resistance to the virus in other cells.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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