- Biochemistry. any of various proteins, produced by virus-infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection.
- Pharmacology. Also called alpha-interferon. an interferon produced by genetically engineered bacteria and harvested for use against hairy cell leukemia.
Origin of interferon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
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Contemporary Examples of interferon
Or the time he smuggled the interferon through customs in a smoking briefcase full of dry ice.The True Story Behind Dallas Buyers Club: Meet the Real Ron Woodruff
November 3, 2013
- 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
Word Origin and History for interferon
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of a group of glycoproteins that are produced by different cell types in response to various stimuli, such as exposure to viruses, and that block viral replication in newly infected cells and, in some cases, modulate specific cellular functions.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- 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.
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