Definition of lectin in English:



  • Any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, which bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.

    ‘Pokeweed mitogen is one of the few lectins that stimulates B lymphocytes as well as T lymphocytes.’
    • ‘As I understand there is an argument about the possible role of lectins in the diet on metabolism, etc.’
    • ‘One of the most fascinating aspects of this topic is the interrelationship between lectins and viruses.’
    • ‘These results suggest that tomato lectin is an early marker in the differentiation of neural stem cells.’
    • ‘The second, and major part, is a quick reference alphabetical directory listing around 170 lectins.’



/ˈlektən/ /ˈlɛktən/


1950s from Latin lect- ‘chosen’ (from the verb legere) + -in.