In biochemistry, a dimer is a macromolecular complex formed by two, usually non-covalently bound, macromolecules such as proteins or nucleic acids. (The word dimer has roots meaning "two parts", di- + -mer.) It is a quaternary structure of a protein.
A homodimer is formed by two identical molecules (a process called homodimerisation). A heterodimer is formed by two different macromolecules (called heterodimerisation).
Most dimers in biochemistry are not connected by covalent bonds. An example of a non-covalent heterodimer is the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which is composed of two different amino acid chains. An exception is dimers that are linked by disulfide bridges such as the homodimeric protein NEMO.
Some proteins contain specialized domains to ensure dimerization (dimerization domains) and specificity.
- Receptor tyrosine kinases
- Transcription factors
- 14-3-3 proteins
- G protein-coupled receptors
- G protein βγ-subunit dimer
- Triosephosphateisomerase (TIM)
- Alcohol dehydrogenase
- Factor XI
- Factor XIII
- Toll-like receptor
- Variable surface glycoproteins of the Trypanosoma parasite
- TypeII restriction enzymes
- Sluis-Cremer N, Hamamouch N, San Félix A, Velazquez S, Balzarini J, Camarasa MJ (August 2006). "Structure-activity relationships of [2',5'-bis-O-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-beta-D-ribofuranosyl]- 3'-spiro-5' '-(4' '-amino-1' ',2' '-oxathiole-2' ',2' '-dioxide)thymine derivatives as inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase dimerization". J. Med. Chem. 49 (16): 4834–41. PMID 16884295. doi:10.1021/jm0604575.
- Herscovitch M, Comb W, Ennis T, Coleman K, Yong S, Armstead B, Kalaitzidis D, Chandani S, Gilmore TD (February 2008). "Intermolecular disulfide bond formation in the NEMO dimer requires Cys54 and Cys347". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 367 (1): 103–8. PMC . PMID 18164680. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.12.123.
- Amoutzias, Grigoris D.; Robertson, David L.; Van de Peer, Yves; Oliver, Stephen G. (2008-05-01). "Choose your partners: dimerization in eukaryotic transcription factors". Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 33 (5): 220–229. ISSN 0968-0004. PMID 18406148. doi:10.1016/j.tibs.2008.02.002.