mercaptopurine

noun

mer·​cap·​to·​pu·​rine (ˌ)mər-ˌkap-tə-ˈpyu̇r-ˌēn How to pronounce mercaptopurine (audio)
: an antimetabolite C5H4N4S that interferes especially with the metabolism of purine bases and the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and that is sometimes used in the treatment of acute leukemia

Examples of mercaptopurine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The next breakthrough, in 1950, was the development of 6-MP (mercaptopurine) by Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings, who would go on to receive the Nobel Prize. Marie McCullough, https://www.inquirer.com, 6 June 2019 Using this targeted method, Elion helped develop such drugs as mercaptopurine, which changed childhood leukemia from a death-sentence to a condition that most survive. Ray Cavanaugh, Time, 23 Jan. 2018

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

Word History

Etymology

mercaptan + -o- + purine

First Known Use

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mercaptopurine was circa 1952

Dictionary Entries Near mercaptopurine

Cite this Entry

“Mercaptopurine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercaptopurine. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

mercaptopurine

noun
mer·​cap·​to·​pu·​rine (ˌ)mər-ˌkap-tə-ˈpyu̇(ə)r-ˌēn How to pronounce mercaptopurine (audio)
: an antimetabolite C5H4N4S that interferes especially with the metabolism of purine bases and the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and that is sometimes useful in the treatment of acute leukemia
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