The longest word in English language is the full name of a protein known as “Titin” which is important in the contraction of striated muscles.
Titin is the largest protein discovered to date. It is a human protein, found in muscles and functions as a spring, ensuring passive muscle elasticity. Moreover, it consists of 244 smaller proteins, connected by peptides (a kind of smaller proteins). When the muscle stretches, the 244 proteins ‘unwind’ and return to their original (packaged) shape when the tension disappears. The chemical formula for Titin is C169,719H270,466N45,688O52,238S911.
After myosin and actin, it is the third most abundant protein in the muscles. An adlut human contains approximately 0.5 kg of titin. Furthermore, the gene for titin contains the largest number of exons (363) discovered in any single gene, as well as the longest single exon. The complete sequence of human titin gene has been determined in 2001.
Such a large protein needed a proper scientific name. And it received it. The name contains no less than 189,819 letters (at least that’s what they say, we didn’t count them). The full name pronunciation takes about three and a half hours according to Digitalspy. It has been disputed whether or not it is a real word because, theoretically there is no limit to a protein’s name. For example, naming a single strand of DNA, with its millions and millions of repeating base pairs, could eventually tab out at well over 1 billion letters.
The longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’ at 45 letters long. If you had a few tries and pronounced it right, congratulations! How about have a go at Titin? We are going to leave here the full 189,819-lettered word for Titin for your curiosity.