Definition of phorbol in English:



mass nounChemistry
  • A compound present (in the form of highly carcinogenic esters) in croton oil.

    A tetracyclic alcohol; chemical formula: C₂₀H₂₈O₆

    • ‘Twenty-four hours after transfection, cells were stimulated with ionomycin, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, and calcium chloride.’
    • ‘This is in striking contrast to phorbol esters, which mimic G q pathway-produced DAG and cause strongly hyperactive locomotion within 1-2 hr of omnidirectional contact.’
    • ‘When the phorbol ester TPA is added to MCF - 7 cells, a dramatic increase in the invasiveness and the metastatic potential of these cells occurs.’
    • ‘Various studies on the active principles of the manchineel tree have shown tigliane phorbol esters to be the likely cause of the severe reactions.’
    • ‘Neutrophils stimulated to respiratory burst by phorbol myristate acetate activate IQ, and inhibitor studies have identified myeloperoxidase as the enzyme responsible.’


1930s: from Greek phorbē ‘fodder’ (from pherbein ‘to feed’) + -ol.