cofactor

noun

co·​fac·​tor ˈkō-ˌfak-tər How to pronounce cofactor (audio)
1
: the signed minor of an element of a square matrix or of a determinant with the sign positive if the sum of the column number and row number of the element is even and with the sign negative if it is odd
2
: a substance that acts with another substance to bring about certain effects
especially : coenzyme
3
: something (such as diet or a virus) that acts with or aids another factor in causing disease

Examples of cofactor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enzymes that break down vitamin D need magnesium as a cofactor to carry out enzymatic reactions. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 Such roles are being a cofactor in over 300 enzyme reactions, helping with muscle and nerve function, blood pressure control, blood sugar control and even protein synthesis [21]. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 These cofactors play a crucial role in enhancing the absorption and utilization of calcium by the body. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 Additionally, vitamin C can help protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals and serves as a cofactor in many crucial enzymatic functions throughout the body. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 9 Nov. 2022 The most common cause is pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition where the body cannot make a cofactor to help absorb vitamin B12. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 14 June 2023 Vitamin C is a critical cofactor for collagen synthesis and an effective antioxidant. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 Selenium: This mineral is a cofactor to glutathione which means it is needed in the body to produce more glutathione. Good Housekeeping, 10 Feb. 2023 Genetic studies also seemed to rule out any connection between genes affecting serotonin levels and depression, even when the researchers tried to consider stress as a possible cofactor. Joanna Thompson, Quanta Magazine, 26 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cofactor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cofactor was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near cofactor

Cite this Entry

“Cofactor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cofactor. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

cofactor

noun
co·​fac·​tor ˈkō-ˌfak-tər How to pronounce cofactor (audio)
1
: a substance that acts with another substance to bring about certain effects
especially : coenzyme
2
: something (as a diet or virus) that acts with or aids another factor in causing disease
Infection with the HPV virus is an important cofactor in cervical cancer, but very few people infected with HPV will ever get cervical cancer.Elissa Mendenhall, Mothering

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