A homo-dimer would be formed by two identical molecules (a process called homodimerization). A hetero-dimer would be formed by two different macromolecules (called heterodimerization).
Most dimers in biochemistry are not connected by covalent bonds. An example of a non-covalent heterodimer would be 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).
- 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
- 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.
- 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". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 367 (1): 103–8.