Molecular Life Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters, Ellis Bell

Why Do Proteins Have Quaternary Structure: Non-allosteric Proteins

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6436-5_21-1

Synopsis

Quaternary structure refers to the arrangement and interaction of the subunits that comprise a protein. Although not ubiquitous in the protein world, it is a widespread phenomenon and may be either a fixed or dynamic property of a protein. There are many advantages a protein benefits from through its quaternary structure. A cell may conserve valuable resources in the creation of a large protein by repeating the synthesis of a few polypeptide chains many times rather than synthesizing one extremely long polypeptide chain. Stability can be enhanced by strategic placement of the subunits to optimize non-covalent bonding. New active sites can be created at the interface of interacting subunits. Finally, oligomerization may serve as a regulatory mechanism, often rendering a protein active in one oligomeric state and inactive in another. Together, these assets allow for increased flexibility of protein structure and hence function, providing nature with a powerfully efficient tool...

Keywords

Migration Urea Codon Catalysis Cysteine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts College of Liberal ArtsNorth AdamsUSA