darbepoetin alfa

Definition / meaning of darbepoetin alfa

A recombinant analog of the endogenous cytokine erythropoietin, an erythropoiesis-stimulating protein. Due to the addition of two carbohydrate chains, darbepoetin alfa exhibits a three-fold greater half-life than does erythropoietin. Similar to erythropoietin, darbopoietin alfa binds to and activates epoetin receptors, thereby inducing the differentiation and maturation of erythrocyte progenitors, stimulating endothelial cell proliferation, and stimulating B-cell proliferation and immunoglobulin production.

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The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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