from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a group of glycoproteins that are produced by different cell types in response to various stimuli, such as exposure to a virus, bacterium, parasite, or other antigen, and that prevent viral replication in newly infected cells and, in some cases, modulate specific cellular functions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biochemistry Any of a group of glycoproteins, produced by the immune system, that prevent viral replication in infected cells

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an antiviral protein produced by cells that have been invaded by a virus; inhibits replication of the virus


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

[interfer(e) + –on.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

interfere +‎ -on, from its role interfering with viral replication.


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  • He spoke about his treatment and, for the first time, I heard the word interferon.

    Love Brought Me Back Natalie cole 2010

  • A new study has shown that tweaking a certain group of multipotent stem cells-mesenchymal stem cells-with a hormone called interferon (IFN) in our bodies, might stop osteoporosis and promote bone growth.

    Medindia Health News 2009

  • July 2009 Approved to treat metastatic kidney cancer in combination with a drug called interferon alpha.

    Study Links Cancer Drug to Dangerous Side Effects Jennifer Corbett Dooren 2011

  • Until recently, one form of this substance, alpha-interferon (also called interferon A) was the only treatment for HCV infection approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    DR. SANJIV CHOPRA’S LIVER BOOK Sanjiv Chopra 2001

  • The second refinement is a product called polyethylene glycol PEG interferon, which is given to the patient once a week.

    DR. SANJIV CHOPRA’S LIVER BOOK Sanjiv Chopra 2001

  • Chronic hepatitis B in some patients is treated with drugs called interferon or lamivudine, which can help some patients.

    Chapter 2 2000

  • With the strength it has today, it was born in 1981, from just the information that a product called interferon existed.

    Fidel Castro Gives Speech at Spare Parts Forum 1992

  • Besides from being more convenient and less painful, a trial has also showed Gilenya to be twice as effective at stopping relapses as one of the injectable drugs, called interferon beta - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph 2011

  • In experiments on mice, researchers showed for the first time that a protein called interferon-gamma IFN-gamma plays a key role in the spread of melanoma, a notoriously aggressive form of cancer resistant to standard chemotherapy.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion 2011

  • Among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who take the popular drug, known as interferon beta, overall effectiveness is only fair, with about half of all patients experiencing an average one-third reduction in recurrences, according to researchers at Stanford University.

    Medlogs - Recent stories 2010


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