What Is Antibody Monomer? 

Ekansh Agarwal

Updated on:

Before knowing about the antibody monomer, you should know about the antibody itself. What are antibodies and why are they essential? So, antibodies are nothing but proteins, which are produced by your immune system. They attach to antigens such as fungi, bacteria, toxins, and viruses and remove them from your body. As per your age, the number of antibodies decreases and your immune system becomes weak, it does not remain capable to combat infectious diseases, bacteria, and viruses. They also protect you from unwanted substances that enter your body. Without further delay let’s know about antibody monomer

What Is Antibody Monomer? 

Antibody monomer is called “Y”-shaped antibody molecules, which can bind to two similar epitopes. The simplest antibodies like lgD, LgG, and IgE, are called “Y”-shaped macromolecules and they are monomers of antibodies. A typical antibody monomer has a small chain that comes in two varieties, kappa or Lamba, and has a lower molecular weight than the heavy chains. 

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While talking about the antibody monomer structure, they have four glycoprotein chains that are connected to one another by disulfide means S-S bonds and non-covalent bonds. Extra S-S bonds fold the individual glycoprotein chains into multiple and different globular domains. 

The place is flexible to enable the antibody to bind to pairs of epitopes at various distances apart on an antigen. There are two tips of the “Y” monomer that are referred to as the antigen-binding fragments or Fab portions of the antibody. The first 110 amino acids of the first domain of both the heavy and light chain of the fab region of the antibody provide specificity for binding an epitope on an antigen. 

Now, you know an antibody monomer is made of protein and a “Y” -shaped antibody. Let’s have a look at some important properties of antibody monomers.  

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Properties Of Antibody Monomer 

The properties of antibody monomer are, 

  • The antibody monomer’s Y-shaped structure consists of polypeptides along with two heavy chains and two light chains. 
  • The Y-shaped structure allows antibody molecules to carry out their dual functions including binding antigen and biological activity. 
  • Different kinds of genes the cell splices together determine the order of amino acids of the Fab portion of both the light and heavy chain. 
  • The amino acid sequence determines the final 3-dimensional shape. 
  • Different antibody monomers produced by different B-lymphocytes will have different orders of amino acids at the tips of the Fab to give them unique shapes for the binding epitopes.  

Let’s have a look at the antibody structure and function

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Antibody Structure And Function 

Here is the detailed information about the structure and functions of antibody polymer, 

Antibody Structure 

The antibody structure varies as per antibody type. But, they also have some similarities like each antibody structure consists of two heavy chains and two light chains, which join to form a Y-shaped molecule. Also, the earth kind of antibody has a different amino acid sequence at the tips of the “Y” which is why each antibody is shaped differently. 

The lower part of the “Y”, the C terminal region of each glycoprotein chain, is called the Fc portion. And, the Fc portion, as well as one domain of both the heavy and light chain of the Fab region has a fixed amino acid sequence. It is referred to as the constant region of the antibody and defines the class and subclass of each antibody. 

Antibody Function 

The main function of antibodies is to protect you when an unwanted substance like bacteria, or virus enters your body. Antibodies and B cells together provide one of the most important functions of immunity, which is to recognize an invading antigen and to produce a tremendous number of protective proteins that scouts the body to remove all traces of that antigen. 

Facts About Antibody 

The facts about antibodies are, 

  • Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins made in great abundance by our immune system 
  • It works through a principle known as shape complementarity. 
  • It is true that antibodies are slow to develop but they offer long-term protection. 
  • Our body has two layers of immune protection namely, innate immunity and adaptive immunity. 

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What Monomer Are Antibodies Made Of?


Antibodies are glycoproteins. The basic functional unit of each antibody is an immunoglobulin (Ig) monomer (containing only one Ig unit); secreted antibodies can also be dimeric with two Ig units as with IgA, tetrameric with four Ig units like teleost fish IgM, or pentameric with five Ig units, like mammalian IgM.

Are All Antibodies Monomers?

The basic unit of an antibody is a monomer (a small molecule that may become chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer). An antibody monomer is a “Y”-shape molecule that consists of two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains, which are connected by disulfide bonds.

Are Antibodies Monomers Or Polymers?

Antibodies consist of a basic four chain structure arranged to form two Fab arms and an Fc region. Although most Ig isotypes are secreted as monomers, IgM exists only as pentamers and hexamers, and IgA is found as both monomers and polymers of predominantly dimeric form.

What Are Antibodies Made Of?

An Antibody Molecule Is Composed of Heavy and Light Chains
The basic structural unit of an antibody molecule consists of four polypeptide chains, two identical light (L) chains (each containing about 220 amino acids) and two identical heavy (H) chains (each usually containing about 440 amino acids).

Is IgG A Monomer?

IgG is a monomer with an approximate molecular weight of 146 Kd and a serum concentration of 9.0 mg/mL. IgG is said to be divalent, i.e., it has two identical antigen-binding sites that comprise 2 L chains and 2 H chains joined by disulfide bonds.

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What Are The 5 Different Types Of Antibodies?

5 types of antibodies, each with a different function

There are 5 types of heavy chain constant regions in antibodies (immunoglobulin) and according to these types, they are classified into IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE. They are distributed and function differently in the body.

Is IgM Monomer Or Pentamer?

Natural immunoglobulin M (IgM) forms a predominantly pentameric complex that also contains a small polypeptide joining (J) chain (1–5).


In this article, you have learned a lot about antibodies and their monomers. As you know, antibodies come in a few shoes and sizes, the most popular of these is the Y-shaped proteins known as lgG antibodies, which we have discussed above. The base of the Y-shaped antibodies is shared by all lgG antibodies. So, this was all about the antibody monomer


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Is antibodies a monomer or polymer

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