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Definition of Heterokaryon

Heterokaryon: A cell with two separate nuclei formed by the experimental fusion of two genetically different cells. For example, heterokaryons composed of nuclei from Hurler syndrome and Hunter syndrome, both diseases of mucopolysaccharide metabolism, have normal mucopolysaccharide metabolism. This proves that the two syndromes affect different proteins and so can correct each other in the heterokaryon.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3742
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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