Definition of haemocyanin in English:


(US hemocyanin)


mass nounBiochemistry
  • A protein containing copper, responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood plasma of arthropods and molluscs.

    • ‘One grasshopper embryo has a protein that closely resembles hemocyanin in sequence, but no oxygen binding studies to confirm its function have yet been done.’
    • ‘The focus of this paper is on the Crustacea, the class of Arthropoda that expresses both hemoglobin and hemocyanin.’
    • ‘Injection of bacteria had no influence on hemocyanin or hemolymph protein concentrations when compared to saline injection.’
    • ‘It is intriguing that crustaceans seem to express either hemoglobin or hemocyanin but not both proteins.’
    • ‘The ontogeny of crustacean hemocyanin, the copper-based oxygen transport protein, has been studied in relatively few species, including Nephrops norvegicus and Homarus americanus.’


Mid 19th century: from haemo- ‘of blood’ + cyan + -in.