Dictionary > Agglutinin

Agglutinin

Definition
noun, plural: agglutinins
Any substance, usually of biological origin, that causes agglutination or clumping together of cells (e.g. red blood cells) or of bacteria
Supplement
An agglutinin refers to any substance that causes agglutination (“clumping together”) of cells. For instance, certain antibodies can cause antigens to aggregate. Antigens, such as foreign microbial agents, attach to the antigen-binding sites of antibodies.
Another example of the function of agglutinins is associated with blood group. Agglutinins in the blood plasma are responsible in making sure that there will be blood cells of only one blood type circulating in a person’s body. If blood cells of a different blood type enter the body, agglutinins cause agglutination and destruction of these blood cells. For example people with blood type A have agglutinins b in their blood plasma. Hence, blood transfusion of blood type B will cause agglutinins b to react with the cells and cause agglutination.
Lectins can also serve as agglutinins. Lectins are proteins that have binding sites for sugar. Similar to antibodies, lectins have the ability to cause agglutination of red blood cells.
Word origin: agglutin(ation) + –in
See also:

Related term(s):

  • partial agglutinin
  • group agglutinin
  • major agglutinin
  • minor agglutinin
  • o agglutinin
  • serum agglutinin
  • somatic agglutinin


    You will also like...

    Freshwater aquatic plankton
    Freshwater Communities & Plankton

    Planktons are microscopic organisms that live suspended in aquatic habitats. There are two groups: the phytoplanktons an..

    IQ, Creativity and Learning
    IQ, Creativity and Learning

    Human intelligence provided the means to utilize abstract ideas and implement reasoning. This tutorial takes a further l..

    Hormone Production
    Hormone Production

    Hormones are chemical messengers produced by specialized glands and they were produced by switching on the genes designe..

    Adaptive Radiation
    Adaptive Radiation

    The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..

    Buttress roots
    Roots

    This study guide tackles plant roots in greater detail. It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structur..

    Balanced Diet
    A Balanced Diet – Minerals and Proteins

    Proteins and minerals can be derived from various dietary sources. They are essential for the proper growth and developm..