from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small molecule that reacts with a specific antibody but cannot induce the formation of antibodies unless bound to a carrier protein or other large antigenic molecule.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any small molecule that can elicit an immune response only when attached to a large carrier such as a protein.


German : Greek haptein, to fasten + German -en, n. suff. (from Greek -ēnē, -ene).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Hapten (Wiktionary)


  • I made the observation that random bred animals immunized with antigens with restricted heterogeneity, such as hapten conjugates of poly L-lysine distribute themselves into two groups, responders and nonresponders.

    Baruj Benacerraf - Autobiography

  • To overcome that, Dr. Janda attaches a hapten - which is either a bit of the drug itself, or a synthetic version of it - to a larger protein that acts as a platform.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Carrier proteins such as DT stimulate T-helper cells which co-operate with B-cells to enable them to respond to the hapten by providing accessory signals.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • First of all, the method does not work with just any antibodies, it works with antibodies to a particular hapten (a β-diketone).

    New Scientist - Online News


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  • It just hapten. I had to latch on to it!?

    July 2, 2011