heavy chain

  1. either of an identical pair of Y-shaped polypeptides that, together with the light chains, constitute the antibody molecule.

Origin of heavy chain

First recorded in 1960–65
  • Also called H chain

Words Nearby heavy chain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use heavy chain in a sentence

  • A house at Athens was haunted by a spirit which roamed through the apartments at night, seemingly dragging a heavy chain after it.

  • Their wrists were manacled, and, as a further precaution, a heavy chain bound their arms to their waists.

    The Great Mogul | Louis Tracy

British Dictionary definitions for heavy chain

heavy chain

  1. immunol a type of polypeptide chain present in an immunoglobulin molecule

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for heavy chain

heavy chain

[ hĕvē ]

  1. The larger of the two types of polypeptide chains in an immunoglobulin molecule. A heavy chain consists of an antigen-binding portion having a variable amino acid sequence, and a constant region that is different for each class of imunoglobulin. Each heavy chain is one of a Y-shaped identical pair and is attached along its variable region to a smaller light chain. Compare light chain.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.