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heavy chain

noun, Immunology
either of an identical pair of Y -shaped polypeptides that, together with the light chains, constitute the antibody molecule.
Also called H chain.
Origin of heavy chain
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heavy chain
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The iron fetters, joined by a heavy chain, were substituted for them.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
  • He felt something, something like a heavy chain, that held him there.

  • It was open a trifle, but a heavy chain secured it from opening any further.

  • He lifted it, however, with some difficulty, owing to the heavy chain.

    The Fugitives R.M. Ballantyne
  • As Fidu and Gud marched on their way it was to the sound of muttering and mumbled curses and the clanking of a heavy chain.

    The Book of Gud Dan Spain
  • The taste was pleasing, and he slowly advanced, dragging his heavy chain after him.

    Gulf and Glacier Willis Boyd Allen
  • The heavy chain clinked taut with the pull of the outgoing tide, then relaxed in the back rush of water.

    A Village of Vagabonds F. Berkeley Smith
  • On his body was a girdle of iron, and from the girdle was a heavy club hung by a heavy chain.

    Celtic Tales Louey Chisholm
  • What was his astonishment at finding an enormous padlock and a heavy chain upon the door!

British Dictionary definitions for heavy chain

heavy chain

(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
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heavy chain in Medicine

heavy chain heav·y chain (hěv'ē)
One of a pair of polypeptide chains of high molecular weight that are components of an immunoglobin and that serve as the binding sites for antigens. They are separated into five types: gamma, alpha, delta, epsilon, and mu.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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heavy chain in Science
heavy chain
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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