Definition of Melittin
Melittin: The principal toxic component in bee venom. Melittin is a relatively short peptide consisting of 26 amino acids. It is a powerful cell lytic agent and binds rapidly to red blood cells causing the release of hemoglobin in the blood plasma. Lysis of these cells occurs when the organization of a lipid bilayer is perturbed.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!