Definition of hapten in English:

hapten

noun

Physiology
  • A small molecule which, when combined with a larger carrier such as a protein, can elicit the production of antibodies which bind specifically to it (in the free or combined state).

    • ‘It is likely that low-molecular-weight agents act as haptens, combining with human proteins in the respiratory tract to become complete immunogens.’
    • ‘Perhaps the binding of TABMs to chemical haptens produces a local increase in TGF- [Beta] at sites of chemical exposure, particularly the upper and lower respiratory tract, with neuropeptide release.’
    • ‘The bound microparticle complexes are then incubated with antidetection hapten alkaline phosphatase conjugate, which binds to the detection haptens.’
    • ‘The Aberdeen company uses antibodies to detect haptens - tiny molecules that can signal the presence of poisonous or disease-causing substances.’
    • ‘Supporting this is the discovery by Vojdani et al., who reported that some individuals develop allergic antibodies to haptens formed in response to MTBE binding to albumin.’

Origin

Early 20th century: from Greek haptein ‘fasten’.

Pronunciation

hapten

/ˈhaptən/