Very variable; easily changing; or continually changing. Protean is not to be confused with protein (a member of a large group of chemicals necessary to and found in all living things).

Protean refers to Proteus, the mythologic master of disguise. According to the ancient Greeks, Proteus was the shepherd who looked after Poseidon’s sea creatures. Proteus had the gift of prophecy. Determined not to share his knowledge, he changed his shape to avoid attention. The only way to learn what he knew was to sneak up behind him during his nap and hold him (while he frantically changed from shape to shape) until he revealed what he knew. Protean means as mutable and adaptable as the mythological shepherd.

For example, the ways in which AIDS may present are numerous, and thus, protean.

Read Also:

  • Protease

    An enzyme that can split a protein into the peptides from which it was originally created.

  • Proteasome

    A protein degradation “machine” within the cell that can digest a variety of proteins into short polypeptides and amino acids. The proteasome is itself made up of proteins. It requires ATP to work. It is hollow and has openings at both ends to allow entry of the protein to be digested. A human cell contains […]

  • Protease inhibitor

    Norvir), and they are used primarily in HIV/AIDS treatment. They are taken as part of a multi-drug cocktail and have been shown to be capable of significantly reducing the level of HIV virus in the blood. Side effects associated with protease inhibitors include lipodystrophy syndrome, in which the face, arms, and legs become thin due […]

  • Protein

    One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Proteins are essential components of the muscle, skin, and bones. Proteins and carbohydrates each provide 4 calories of energy per gram, whereas fats provide 9 calories per gram.

  • Protein C

    A vitamin K’dependent protein in plasma that enters into the cascade of biochemical events leading to the formation of blood clots.

Disclaimer: Protean definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.