Medical Definition of Nef gene

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Nef gene: Short for negative factor gene, a gene the absence (or defect) of which diminishes the strength of a disease.

The term Nef gene was coined in 1989 in respect to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS. The Nef gene in this situation is a gene in HIV the absence (or defect) of which diminishes the strength of AIDS.

The term "Nef gene" is now considered to have entered into the English language, according to the Quarterly of New Words edited by DK Barnhart. Nef gene is also written NEF gene or NeF gene or nef gene and is sometimes shortened to nef.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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