Medical Definition of ankyrin
: any of a family of proteins that link spectrin in the cytoskeleton to proteins in the cell membrane and play a role in maintaining membrane stability Ankyrins were originally identified in erythrocytes and, in addition to the heart, they are also expressed in brain, kidney, skeletal muscle, liver and lung.—Sabina Kuperschmidt et al., in Cardiovascular Genetics and Genomics for the Cardiologist, 2007—often followed by a number or a letter to indicate type The defect is a mutation of a gene that codes for a protein called ankyrin-B, which plays an important but until now unknown role in the complex series of electrical and chemical events that govern the heartbeat.—The Chicago Tribune, 9 Feb. 2003
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