interferon

noun

in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌin-tər-ˈfir-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
ˌin-tə-
: any of a group of heat-stable soluble basic antiviral glycoprotein cytokines of low molecular weight that are produced by cells exposed usually to the action of a virus, sometimes to the action of another intracellular parasite (such as a bacterium), or experimentally to the action of some chemicals

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Among its many functions are import and export packaging of RNA from the nucleus, synthesis of genomic RNA, cell cycle manipulation of the host cell, and suppression of interferon responses to name a few. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 The researchers suggested that those innate interferon responses in children restrain the virus and progression of the disease. Mark Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Sep. 2022 The US Food and Drug Administration approved the first of a series of new hepatitis C treatments called interferon-free direct-acting antiviral agents in December 2013. Neeraj G. Patel, CNN, 9 Aug. 2022 In turn, detection of these pathogens by molecules along immune signaling pathways is what produces interferon. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 Coronaviruses in general are pros at interferon sabotage. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2022 It is also involved in host immune response inhibition, targeting interferon signals like RIG-1 and MDA-5. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Still, there’s probably a ceiling to how interferon-resistant the coronavirus can become. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2022 The laboratory study found cells treated with an interferon had lower viral loads. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 16 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interferon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

interfere + -on entry 2

First Known Use

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of interferon was in 1957

Dictionary Entries Near interferon

Cite this Entry

“Interferon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interferon. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

interferon

noun

in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
: any of a group of proteins produced by cells that keep viruses attacking the cells from multiplying

Medical Definition

interferon

noun

in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
: any of a group of heat-stable soluble basic antiviral glycoproteins of low molecular weight that are produced usually by cells exposed to the action of a virus, sometimes to the action of another intracellular parasite (as a bacterium), or experimentally to the action of some chemicals, and that include some used medically as antiviral or antineoplastic agents see alpha interferon, beta interferon, gamma interferon

More from Merriam-Webster on interferon

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