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Protein Quaternary Structure: Subunit–Subunit Interactions

  1. Susan Jones,
  2. Janet M Thornton

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003120



How to Cite

Jones, S. and Thornton, J. M. 2001. Protein Quaternary Structure: Subunit–Subunit Interactions. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University College, London, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


The quaternary structure of proteins is the highest level of structural organization observed in these macromolecules. The multimeric proteins that result from quaternary structure formation involve the association of protein subunits through hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Protein quaternary structure has important implications for protein folding and function.


  • protein–protein interaction;
  • subunit;
  • oligomer;
  • molecular recognition;
  • multimer