keratin


ker·a·tin

noun \ˈker-ə-tən\

Definition of KERATIN

:  any of various sulfur-containing fibrous proteins that form the chemical basis of horny epidermal tissues (as hair and nails)
ke·ra·ti·nous \kə-ˈra-tə-nəs\ adjective

Origin of KERATIN

International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: circa 1849

Other Biochemistry Terms

bile, biodegradable, capsaicin, metabolism

ker·a·tin

noun \ˈker-ət-ən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of KERATIN

: any of various sulfur-containing fibrous proteins that form the chemical basis of horny epidermal tissues (as hair and nails) and are typically not digested by enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract—see pseudokeratin

keratin

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fibrous structural protein of hair, nails, hooves, wool, feathers, and skin. A quarter of the amino acids in keratin are cystine, whose ability to form strong bridging (disulfide) bonds with other cystine units accounts for keratin's great stability. Keratin does not dissolve in cold or hot water and does not easily undergo proteolysis. Its fibres are 10–12% longer at maximum water content (about 16%) than when dry. The sulfurous smell of burning keratin is distinctive.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: keratinization
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Keraterpeton
All Words Near: keratin

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up keratin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More