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Any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.
- ‘These results suggest that tomato lectin is an early marker in the differentiation of neural stem cells.’
- ‘As I understand there is an argument about the possible role of lectins in the diet on metabolism, etc.’
- ‘Pokeweed mitogen is one of the few lectins that stimulates B lymphocytes as well as T lymphocytes.’
- ‘The second, and major part, is a quick reference alphabetical directory listing around 170 lectins.’
- ‘One of the most fascinating aspects of this topic is the interrelationship between lectins and viruses.’
1950s: from Latin lect- chosen (from the verb legere) + -in.
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