My best scientific dictionaries have all crashed, and in any case they may not have this word either. I'm looking for a Chinese translation of the word "upregulate" or "up-regulate":

the process of increasing the response to a stimulus; specifically : increase in a cellular response to a molecular stimulus due to increase in the number of receptors on the cell surface.

Another dictionary combined with some okay-ish judgement seems to think it's "上调" or possibly "上调作用" but I'd love some feedback to see if you guys think I'm on the right track.

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    I have added some examples to my answer, and corrected my typo. The term you are looking for is 上调.
    – imrek
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 5:56
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    @Drunken Master I have corrected the typo and I appreciate your help and examples! Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 13:58

4 Answers 4


上调 is the most common equivalent. In your description you are using the wrong character (凋, the radical is different).

EDIT: to add credibility to my answer and provide some examples, I have added some use cases.

Some usages in abstracts:


School of Life Sciences, Peking University:


"upregulating some signaling molecules of macrophages" (text at the end of the article)

Chinese Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:


"Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Upregulates Osterix Expression Through Smad Pathway"

Same source:


"Prostaglandin E2 Mediates the Upregulation of ERRα Expression with BPH-1 Condition Media in Prostatic Stromal Cells " (You can find many other use cases in this journal.)

Journal of Shanghai Jiaotong University (Medical Science Edition):


"Significance of IL-17 upregulation by IL-21 in patients with Graves disease"

调 is the keyword that denotes regulation, thus:

regulatory mechanism is 调控机制 (see Chinese abstract on the linked page) in this context.

下调 (downregulation) denotes the opposite of 上调 (upregulation).

It also comes as 调节 which is to regulate in a general sense (whether up or down, not specified), used in the context of biochemistry.

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    Impressive, good work!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 12:21

First, "凋" needed to be pointed out due to the fact that it's incorrect, the right one is "调", them may look like, but they either have the same meaning (definition) nor the pronunciation.

Second, upregulate seems to me is a combined words of "up" and "regulate", so, it wouldn't be violate any linguistic rules to translate into "上调" or more detailed "向上调节" since it is a combine word.

It may help if you give me the specific domain or field which your "upregulate" comes from, but, I think upregulate equivalent to "turn up" or "increase" won't be a mistake.


Think you will have to rewrite upregulate to something like 'increase reactivity'.

The process of increasing the response of a cell to a stimulus is known as 'increasing the reactivity of the cell'

This sentence could be translated thus.


So 'upregulate' becomes '‘增加细胞反应性‘.


according to this article: https://www.ptt.cc/man/Biotech/D93F/D7BE/D983/M.1113811339.A.257.html

upregulate can be translated to "表現量增加" especially refer to "基因表現量" as the certain cell status like Heat-shock or starvation.

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