quaternary structure

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Related to Quaternery structure: tertiary structure

qua·ter·nar·y struc·ture

the three-dimensional arrangement and constitution of a multimeric (that is, containing more than one biopolymer) macromolecule; for example, the α2β2 tetramer of hemoglobin A.

quaternary structure

The three-dimensional arrangement of the macromolecules making up a functional unit, such as that formed by four globin protein molecules to make hemoglobin or by histones interacting with DNA to make a nucleosome.


1. fourth in a series.
2. made up of four elements or groups.

quaternary ammonium compounds
synthetic cationic detergents commonly used as disinfectants. They act against cell wall lipids in bacteria. An example is benzalkonium chloride. Effective in teat dips for mastitis control. Called also QUATs.
quaternary structure
the arrangement of separate polypeptide subunits in the structure of a multimeric protein.