Glossary – P

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P

pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)
As the term implies, pathogen-associated molecular patterns are typical for pathogens and are not found in higher eukaryotic organisms. Consequently, cells of the innate immune system can detect PAMPs with so-called pattern recognition receptors. Examples of PAMPs include peptidoglycans (PGN), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoteichoic acid (LTA) or mycolic acid (MA).

PAMPs
See pathogen-associated molecular patterns

pathogen
A disease-causing organism such as a bacterium, virus or fungus.

paraffin
A substance similar to wax.

PCR
See polymerase chain reaction

peptide
Peptides are a short stretch of amino acids. Peptides can either be synthesized chemically or may be derived from digesting proteins.

peptide microarray
A peptide microarray is similar to a DNA microarray and displays hundreds or thousands different peptides instead of DNA fragments. Peptide microarrays are highly miniaturized analytical systems for the parallel examination of multiple compounds and their interactions.

phenotype
The phenotype is the sum of all characteristics of an organism or cells. In other words, it is “what you can see”. The phenotype of a cell is the global result of the gene expression.

phenotyping
The study of the phenotype.

plasmid
A circular DNA molecule that exists and replicates independently in bacteria and is additional to the bacterial chromosomal DNA. Plasmids often code for proteins that enable bacteria to acquire a special phenotype such as antibiotic resistance. Plasmids can be used as vectors.

polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
PCR is a molecular technique used to copy a specific DNA fragment in the test tube. The reaction is very effective and generates large quantities of copies from a single or a few DNA molecules.

predictive biomarker
A specific type of biomarker that indicates sensitivity or resistance to a specific therapy. Predictive markers are used to more accurately identify patients, who are likely to show a positive response to a certain therapy.

prognostic biomarker
A specific type of biomarker used to predict the course and outcome of a disease.