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[puh-pey-in, -pahy-in] /pəˈpeɪ ɪn, -ˈpaɪ ɪn/
Biochemistry. a proteolytic enzyme found in the fruit of the papaya tree, Carica papaya.
Pharmacology. a commercial preparation of this used as a meat tenderizer and in medicine as a digestant.
1885-90; papa(ya) + -in2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for papain
  • papain is used to dissociate cells in the first step of cell culture preparations.
  • The fda said, no topical drug product containing papain has been approved by the fda.
British Dictionary definitions for papain


/pəˈpeɪɪn; -ˈpaɪɪn/
a proteolytic enzyme occurring in the unripe fruit of the papaya tree, Carica papaya: used as a meat tenderizer and in medicine as an aid to protein digestion
Word Origin
C19: from papaya
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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papain in Medicine

papain pa·pa·in (pə-pā'ĭn, -pī'ĭn) or pa·pa·in·ase (-ə-nās', -nāz')
An enzyme, or a crude extract containing it, that digests protein, catalyzes the hydrolysis or transfer of esters, amides, or other chemical groups containing sulfur, and is used as a digestive aid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for papain

enzyme present in the milky juice of the papaya that catalyzes the breakdown of proteins by hydrolysis (addition of a water molecule). Papain is used in biochemical research involving the analysis of proteins, in preparations of various remedies for indigestion, in tenderizing meat, and in enzyme-action cleansing agents for soft contact lenses. A related enzyme from the same source is chymopapain, which has different characteristics of mobility and solubility. It is used to shrink or dissolve ruptured disks in certain kinds of lumbar spine injuries, and otherwise as a digestant of protein.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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