The homotetrameric protein transthyretin (TTR) must undergo rate-limiting dissociation to its constituent monomers in order to enable partial denaturation that allows the process of amyloidogenesis associated with human pathology to ensue. The TTR quaternary structure contains two distinct dimer interfaces, one of which creates the two binding sites for the natural ligand thyroxine. Tetramer dissociation could proceed through three distinct pathways; scission into dimers along either of the two unique quaternary interfaces followed by dimer dissociation represents two possibilities. Alternatively, the tetramer could lose monomers sequentially. To elucidate the TTR dissociation pathway, we employed two different TTR constructs, each featuring covalent attachment of proximal subunits. We demonstrate that tethering the A and B subunits of TTR with a disulfide bond (as well as the symmetrically disposed C and D subunits) allows urea-mediated dissociation of the resulting (TTR-S-S-TTR)(2) construct, affording (TTR-S-S-TTR)(1) retaining a stable 16-stranded beta-sheet structure that is equivalent to the dimer not possessing a thyroid binding site. In contrast, linking the A and C subunits employing a peptide tether (TTR-L-TTR)(2) affords a kinetically stable quaternary structure that does not dissociate or denature in urea. Both tethered constructs and wild-type TTR exhibit analogous stability based on guanidine hydrochloride denaturation curves. The latter denaturant can denature the tetramer, unlike urea, which can only denature monomeric TTR; hence urea requires dissociation to monomers to function. Under native conditions, the (TTR-S-S-TTR)(2) construct is able to dissociate and incorporate subunits from labeled WT TTR homotetramers at a rate equivalent to that exhibited by WT TTR. In contrast, the (TTR-L-TTR)(2) construct is unable to exchange any subunits, even after 180 h. All of the data presented herein and elsewhere demonstrate that the pathway of TTR tetramer dissociation occurs by scission of the tetramer along the crystallographic C(2) axis affording AB and CD dimers that rapidly dissociate into monomers. Determination of the mechanism of dissociation provides an explanation for why small molecules that bind at the AB/CD dimer-dimer interface impose kinetic stabilization upon TTR and disease-associated variants thereof.