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Figure 3-21. Structure of an antibody molecule, which consists of two identical heavy chains (blue and orange) and two identical light chains (yellow and green).

Figure 3-21Structure of an antibody molecule, which consists of two identical heavy chains (blue and orange) and two identical light chains (yellow and green)

The Y-shaped molecule contains two identical Fab domains, forming the arms, and one Fc domain, forming the stem. In the native molecule, each heavy chain is a continuous polypeptide, with a hinge region connecting the two halves shown in this figure. Antigen molecules (white) bind to the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs), which are highly variable regions located at the ends of each arm. Antibodies contain carbohydrate moieties (red) and thus are glycoproteins. [From A. Levine, 1992, Viruses, W. H. Freeman, p. 53.]

From: Section 3.3, Functional Design of Proteins

Cover of Molecular Cell Biology
Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition.
Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al.
New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000.
Copyright © 2000, W. H. Freeman and Company.

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