Human Male Infertility May Be Due to a Decrease of the Protamine P2 Content in Sperm Chromatin

Mol Reprod Dev. 1993 Jan;34(1):53-7. doi: 10.1002/mrd.1080340109.


Basic chromosomal proteins were extracted from the sperm of fertile and infertile human males. The relative proportions of protamine 1, 2, and 3 were determined by scanning microdensitometry following electrophoresis of total protamine in polyacrylamide gels. The findings were as follows: (1) The proportion of protamine P(2 + 3) in sperm obtained from infertile males was lower than that in fertile males. (2) Protamine P(2 + 3) in infertile human males showed reduced affinity to DNA. The possibility that some cases of human male infertility may be due to mutation within the protamine P2 gene is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism
  • Male
  • Protamines / genetics
  • Protamines / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • Protamines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • protamine P1
  • protamine P2
  • protamine P3