H chain

H chain
SYN: heavy chain.

* * *

heavy chain any of the larger polypeptide chains of antibody molecules, two identical heavy chains occurring (with two identical light chains) in each immunoglobulin monomer. The heavy chains determine the immunoglobulin class and subclass and are designated accordingly: γ, α, μ, ε, and δ, the heavy chains of IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, and IgD. The subclass may be designated by a number, e.g., γ1, the heavy chain of IgG1. Heavy chains have four homology regions of about 110 amino acid residues: one variable region (VH) and three constant regions (CH1, CH2, CH3) except for μ and ε chains which have an extra constant region (CH4). See immunoglobulin.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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