In chemistry, an oligomer is a molecule that consists of a few monomer units (ολιγος, or oligos, is Greek for "a few"), in contrast to a polymer that, at least in principle, consists of an unlimited number of monomers.[1] Dimers, trimers, and tetramers are oligomers. Many oils are oligomeric, such as liquid paraffin. Plasticizers are oligomeric esters widely used to soften thermoplastics such as PVC. They may be made from monomers by linking them together, or by separation from the higher fractions of crude oil. Polybutene is an oligomeric oil used to make putty. Greek prefixes are often used to designate the number of monomer units in the oligomer, for example a tetramer being composed of four units and a hexamer of six.

In biochemistry, the term oligomer is used for short, single-stranded nucleic acid fragments, such as DNA or RNA, or similar fragments of analogs of nucleic acids such as peptide nucleic acid or Morpholinos. Such oligos are used in hybridization experiments (bound to glass slides or nylon membranes), as probes for in situ hybridization or in antisense experiments such as gene knockdowns. It can also refer to a protein complex made of two or more subunits. In this case, a complex made of several different protein subunits is called a hetero-oligomer or heteromer. When only one type of protein subunit is used in the complex, it is called a homo-oligomer or homomer.

Oligomerization is a chemical process that converts monomers to a finite degree of polymerization. The actual figure is a matter of debate, often a value between 10 and 100.[citation needed]

When an oligomer forms as a result of chain transfer the oligomer is called a telomer and the process telomerization.[2] A telomere is a region of highly repetitive DNA at the end of a linear chromosome.

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  • oligomer — OLIGOMÉR, Ă adj. (biol.) Format din puţine elemente structurale. // s.n. Ciclu floral având un număr mai mic de elemente constitutive. [< germ. oligomer, Oligomere]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 27.06.2005. Sursa: DN  OLIGOMÉR, Ă adj., s. n. 1.… …   Dicționar Român

  • oligomer — o*lig o*mer, n. (Chem.) A molecule composed of a small number of linked monomer units; a short polymer; compounds called oligomers have less than one hundred monomer units and usually less than thirty. Oligomers of increasing length are called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oligomer — oligomer. См. олигомер. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Oligomēr — (griech., »weniggliederig«), Bezeichnung eines Blütenkreises oder Blütenquirls mit geringerer Anzahl von Gliedern, als es normal der Fall sein müßte (Gegensatz: pleiomer). Oft ist die Oligomerie die Folge von Verkümmerung oder Verwachsung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Oligomer — Ein Oligomer ist ein Molekül, das aus mehreren strukturell gleichen oder ähnlichen Einheiten aufgebaut ist. Die genaue Anzahl der Einheiten ist offen, befindet sich jedoch meistens zwischen 10 und 30. Bei bestimmten Produkten, wie beispielsweise… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oligomer — O|li|go|mer [↑ oligo u. ↑ mer], das; s, e, auch O|li|go|me|re, das; n, n: Sammelbez. für org. Stoffe, deren Moleküle (Oligomer Moleküle) durch Polyreaktion aus nur wenigen, üblicherweise 3–10, Monomer Molekülen gleicher (Homooligomer) oder versch …   Universal-Lexikon

  • oligomer — oligomeras statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Mažo polimerizacijos laipsnio junginys. atitikmenys: angl. oligomer rus. олигомер …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • Oligomer restriction — (abbreviated OR) is a procedure to detect an altered DNA sequence in a genome. A labeled oligonucleotide probe is hybridized to a target DNA, and then treated with a restriction enzyme. If the probe exactly matches the target, the restriction… …   Wikipedia

  • oligomer — noun Date: 1952 a polymer or polymer intermediate containing relatively few structural units • oligomeric adjective • oligomerization noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oligomer — oligomeric /euh lig euh mer ik/, adj. /euh lig euh meuhr/, n. Chem. a polymer molecule consisting of a small number of monomers. Cf. dimer, tetramer, trimer. [1965 70; OLIGO + MER] * * * …   Universalium

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