n. (context biology English) Any of a family of adaptor proteins that mediate the attachment of integral membrane proteins to the spectrin-actin based membrane skeleton.
Ankyrins are a family of adaptor proteins that mediate the attachment of integral membrane proteins to the spectrin- actin based membrane cytoskeleton. Ankyrins have binding sites for the beta subunit of spectrin and at least 12 families of integral membrane proteins. This linkage is required to maintain the integrity of the plasma membranes and to anchor specific ion channels, ion exchangers and ion transporters in the plasma membrane. The name is derived from the Greek word for "fused".