|Topic:||Quaternary Structure .|
|Details:|| Many proteins contain 2 or more different polypeptide chains that are held in association by the same non-covalent forces that stabilize the tertiary structures of proteins. Proteins with multiple polypetide chains are oligomeric proteins. The structure formed by monomer-monomer interaction in an oligomeric protein is known as quaternary structure.
Oligomeric proteins can be composed of multiple identical polypeptide chains or multiple distinct polypeptide chains. Proteins with identical subunits are termed homo-oligomers. Proteins containing several distinct polypeptide chains are termed hetero-oligomers.
Hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein of the blood, contains two α and two β subunits arranged with a quaternary structure in the form, α2β2. Hemoglobin is, therefore, a hetero-oligomeric protein.
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