- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- immunol a type of polypeptide chain present in an immunoglobulin molecule
- The larger of the two types of polypeptide chains in immunoglobulins, consisting of an antigen-binding portion having a variable amino acid sequence, and a constant region that defines the antibody class.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- 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.