Dictionary > Subunit

Subunit

Definition
noun, plural: subunits
(general) A subdivision or a distinct component of a larger unit
Supplement
The word subunit when used in general sense pertains to a particular part of a larger unit. In structural biology, subunit may pertain to biochemical molecules comprised of distinct components. For instance, protein subunit pertains to a protein molecule that can assemble with another protein molecule to form a complex. Myosin, for example, is comprised of six subunits. Microtubules, which are tubular polymers of the cytoskeleton in the cytoplasm, are each built of tubulin subunits. Proteins that have a relatively small number of subunits are sometimes described as oligomeric. Those that have a large number of subunits are described as multimeric. Protein subunits may also be classified as regulatory subunit or catalytic subunit depending on the primary function that they serve. There are however certain complexes that have both regulatory and catalytic subunits and are termed holoenzymes.
Word origin: sub-, (meaning under) from Latin preposition sub under (close to, up to, towards) + unit
Related term(s):

Mentioned in:

  • actin
  • biotin carboxylase
  • cap binding protein
  • capsomer
  • capsomere
  • dimer
  • ductin
  • f1 atpase
  • filament
  • flagellin
  • framing error
  • haemoglobin
  • hemoglobin
  • heterodimer
  • homodimer
  • inhibin
  • kinase-splitting membranal proteinase
  • macrolide
  • microtubule-associated protein
  • peptidyltransferase
  • pilin
  • protein coat
  • relaxosome
  • telomerase reverse transcriptase
  • tenascin
  • terminase
  • translation
  • troponin phosphatase
  • troponin t


    You will also like...

    Homeostasis by water regulation
    Homeostasis of Organism Water Regulation

    Osmoregulation is the regulation of water concentrations in the bloodstream, effectively controlling the amount of water..

    green leaf - close up view
    Leaves

    Leaves are the major photosynthetic organ of a plant. Apart from that, they are also crucial to water movement. In this ..

    green plant cells
    Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

    Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

    Cambial cells
    Plant Tissues

    Plant organs are comprised of tissues working together for a common function. The different types of plant tissues are m..

    Regulation of Biological Systems
    Regulation of Biological Systems

    Regulation of Biological Systems tutorials are focused on the modulation of biological systems from cell to population l..

    Golgi apparatus (3-D illustration)
    Role of Golgi Apparatus & Endoplasmic Reticulum in Protein Synthesis

    The endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus are the organelles involved in the translation step of protein synthesis a..