Keratin definition

kĕrə-tĭn
A tough, insoluble protein substance that is the chief structural constituent of hair, nails, horns, and hooves.
noun
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A tough, fibrous, insoluble protein forming the principal matter of hair, nails, horn, etc.
noun
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(biochemistry) A protein which hair and nails are comprised of.
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Material composed principally of keratin proteins.
noun
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Any of a class of filamentous proteins that are abundant in the cytoskeleton of vertebrate epithelial cells and are the main constituents of the outer layer of skin and tough epidermal structures such as hair, nails, hooves, feathers, and claws.
noun
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Any of a class of tough, fibrous proteins that are the main structural component of hair, nails, horns, feathers, and hooves. Keratins are rich in sulfur-containing amino acids, especially cysteine. Individual keratin molecules are entwined helically around each other in long filaments, which are cross-linked by bonds between sulfur atoms on different chains. The twining and cross-linking produce strength and toughness.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
keratin
Plural:
keratins

Origin of keratin

  • Greek keras kerāt- horn ker-1 in Indo-European roots –in

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition