[in-ter-feer-on] /ˌɪn tərˈfɪər ɒn/

Biochemistry. any of various proteins, produced by virus-infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection.
Pharmacology.. Also called alpha-interferon. an interferon produced by genetically engineered bacteria and harvested for use against hairy cell leukemia.
(biochem) any of a family of proteins made by cells in response to virus infection that prevent the growth of the virus. Some interferons can prevent cell growth and have been tested for use in cancer therapy

1957, coined in English, so called because it “interferes” with the reduplication of viruses. From interfere + subatomic particle suffix -on.

interferon in·ter·fer·on (ĭn’tər-fēr’ŏn’)
Abbr. IFN
Any of a group of glycoproteins that are produced by different cell types in response to various stimuli, such as exposure to viruses, and that block viral replication in newly infected cells and, in some cases, modulate specific cellular functions.
Any of a group of glycoproteins that are involved in blocking viral replication in newly infected cells and are cytokines that modulate the body’s immune response. Alpha interferon is used a treatment for viral hepatitis and certain cancers, such as leukemia. Beta interferon is used as a treatment for some types of multiple sclerosis.
interferon [(in-tuhr-feer-on)]

A protein produced by cells after they have been exposed to a virus. Interferon prevents the virus from reproducing within the infected cells and can also induce resistance to the virus in other cells.


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