light chain


: either of the two smaller of the four polypeptide chains comprising antibodies compare heavy chain

Examples of light chain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The daratumumab antibody sticks to the problem immune cells that are churning out light chain. Amber Dance, Discover Magazine, 13 Apr. 2023 This should eliminate the cells that were spewing out the problem light chain protein. Amber Dance, Discover Magazine, 13 Apr. 2023 Strangely, the students found only heavy chain proteins in the blood even though antibodies were supposed to also have light chains. Christina Szalinski, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2023 The team also measured the samples for neurofilament light chain, a biomarker of nerve degeneration that increases in people with MS. Kenneth Miller, Discover Magazine, 8 Dec. 2022 Two of the key markers — kappa/lambda light chain and of monoclonal protein in the bone marrow — are down from wildly high to within sight of normal. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, 27 Nov. 2021 Neurofilament light chain, for example, is a structural protein that maintains neurons' axons, which transmit signals to other neurons. ABC News, 7 Nov. 2021 The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative recently reported that measurements of plasma neurofilament-light chain (NfL) can predict the trajectory of decline. Sam Gandy, STAT, 17 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'light chain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of light chain was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near light chain

Cite this Entry

“Light chain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

light chain

: either of the two smaller of the four polypeptide chains that are subunits of antibodies

called also L chain

compare heavy chain

More from Merriam-Webster on light chain

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