HD Glossary

Note: Some words can have differing definitions depending on the context in which they are used. The definitions presented here are the ones that best apply to the words as they are used. HDSA is grateful to the Stanford Hopes website for their contribution and maintenance of this glossary.

 

 

K
  • kidney - An organ that plays a critical role in the excretory system; it is responsible for generating urine.
  • kinase - A molecule that phosphorylates, or adds a phosphate group onto, other molecules in the cell in order to turn them on or off. Often used in signaling cascades that tell the cell to carry out certain functions.
  • kinetics - The rate at which a compound reacts. More specifically, the kinetics of a particular drug is the rate at which the drug completes its function.
  • Kearns-Sayre syndrome - A rare mitochondrial disorder that usually has an onset before the age of 20. Kearns-Sayre syndrome is characterized by progressive paralysis of the eye muscles and mild skeletal muscle weakness.
  • knock-in - Refers to an organism that has a particular gene or trait purposely inserted by selective breeding or laboratory techniques (e.g., a huntingtin knock-in mouse).
  • knock out - The process of purposely removing a particular gene or trait from an organism.
  • knockout - Refers to an organism that has a particular gene or trait purposely removed by selective breeding or laboratory techniques (e.g., a huntingtin knockout mouse).
  • Krebs cycle - A series of chemical reactions involved in aerobic respiration that occur naturally in animals. Also referred to as the citric acid cycle.