misfold

verb

mis·​fold ˌmis-ˈfōld How to pronounce misfold (audio)
misfolded; misfolding; misfolds

intransitive verb

of a protein
: to fold into an incorrect three-dimensional shape that is typically nonfunctional and often resistant to breakdown
The abnormal prions induce normal prion proteins to misfold, and eventually the brain develops spongelike holes.Bette Hileman
misfolded adjective
Scientists have identified a handful of diseases caused by misfolded proteins called prions … Nathan Seppa

Examples of misfold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Traditional methods for pinning down the three-dimensional molecular structure of proteins don’t work well on olfactory receptors, which tend to misfold, behave abnormally or become difficult to distinguish under the conditions that those analyses require. Jordana Cepelewicz, Wired, 27 June 2021 But they can be studied to better understand brain development — such as where and when certain proteins misfold, which can signal whether a person will develop dementia. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2020 Working together, Orr and Zoghbi found that repeat expansions make proteins misfold and clump together in cerebellar neurons, eventually leading to death. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 3 June 2022 Some of the structures made possible by a larger alphabet might be of poor quality, with a greater risk of misfolding, Ellington said. Quanta Magazine, 10 July 2015 Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease is a rare brain disorder caused by misfolding brain proteins called prions. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 17 Oct. 2018 The scientists used a technique called protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to test for the presence of CWD prions in soil and water taken from mineral licks in south-central Wisconsin. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misfold.' 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

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of misfold was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near misfold

Cite this Entry

“Misfold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misfold. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

misfold

intransitive verb
mis·​fold ˌmis-ˈfōld How to pronounce misfold (audio)
misfolded; misfolding
of a protein
: to fold into an incorrect three-dimensional shape that is typically nonfunctional and often resistant to breakdown
The abnormal prions induce normal prion proteins to misfold, and eventually the brain develops spongelike holes.Bette Hileman
misfolded adjective
These findings may help researchers develop new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other kinds of neurodegenerative disorders associated with an accumulation of misfolded proteins in cells. Alison McCook
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