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Protamines: Wikis


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protamine 1
Symbol PRM1
Entrez 5619
HUGO 9447
OMIM 182880
RefSeq NM_002761
UniProt P04553
Other data
Locus Chr. 16 p13.13
protamine 2
Symbol PRM2
Entrez 5620
HUGO 9448
OMIM 182890
RefSeq NM_002762
UniProt P04554
Other data
Locus Chr. 16 p13.13

Protamines are small, arginine-rich, nuclear proteins that replace histones late in the haploid phase of spermatogenesis and are believed essential for sperm head condensation and DNA stabilization. It may allow for denser packaging of DNA in spermatozoon than histones, but it must be decompressed before the genetic data can be used for protein synthesis. Genes that are essential for early embryonic development are still bound to ordinary histones, comprising about 4 percent of the DNA in spermatozoons.[1]


Medical Uses

When mixed with insulin, protamines slow down the onset and increase the duration of insulin action (see NPH insulin).

Protamine sulfate is an antidote for heparin.[2]


Mice, humans, and certain fish have 2 or more different protamines, whereas the sperm of bull, boar, rat, rabbit, guinea pig, and ram have one form of protamine.



The 2 human protamines are denoted PRM1 and PRM2.


Examples of protamines from fish are:


  1. ^ - Dad's Genes May Play Greater Role Than Thought 06.15.09, 12:00 PM EDT
  2. ^ Byun Y, Chang LC, Lee LM, Han IS, Singh VK, Yang VC (2000). "Low molecular weight protamine: a potent but nontoxic antagonist to heparin/low molecular weight protamine". ASAIO J. 46 (4): 435–9. doi:10.1097/00002480-200007000-00013. PMID 10926141.  

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