EpicentRx Word of the Week: Lysis

Sep 25, 2023

“It is definitely nice-is to learn a word like lysis.”

Lysis noun pl. Lyses



  1. the process of cell destruction, breakdown, or disintegration
  2. the gradual ending of symptoms as opposed to a crisis

Related forms:

-lytic noun combining form

: decomposition, disintegration

examples: oncolysis, autolysis

lytically adverb

Lyse verb

:to undergo lysis, to produce lysis in

Lytic adjective

:to produce or effect lysis

-lytic adjective suffix

:of or relating to lysis

example: oncolytic

Example sentences:

“AdAPT-001 is an oncolytic adenovirus meaning that it lyses or destroys cancer cells”.

“AdAPT-001 has several mechanisms of action: 1) lysis of cancer cells 2) production of a TGF-β trap that binds to and neutralizes the immunosuppressive and profibrotic cytokine, TGF-β and 3) stimulation of the immune system”.

“The lytic cycle of viruses describes how they commandeer host cells, and use them to manufacture new viruses or virions that eventually burst out of the cell.”

“It is possible to describe AdAPT-001 as an AdAPT-olytic adenovirus”


Adenoviruses like AdAPT-001 require cell lysis to release new viral particles or virions from the infected cancer cells. Adenoviruses encode small proteins called viroporins that disrupt the cell membrane and result in lysis.

About the Word:

Lysis comes from the Greek, lyein, meaning to loosen or untie.

Derived terms: oncolysis, cytolysis, oncolytic, cytolytic, hemolysis, hemolytic.