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 a 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:


You will also like...

Flowers and tiny fruits of the pomegranate plant
Fruits, Flowers, and Seeds

This tutorial deals with the structure and function of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Also included here are the types of f..

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..

New Zealand - Biodiversity fauna
New Zealand’s Biodiversity

Find out more about New Zealand's unique biodiversity by exploring a range of different ecosystems and the key role of s..

Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems
Pollution in Freshwater Ecosystems

There are many environmental factors that arise due to the usage of water in one way or another and for every action tha..

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
The Central Nervous System

Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

Biological Cell schematic diagram
Biological Cell Introduction

It only takes one biological cell to create an organism. A single cell is able to keep itself functional through its 'mi..