Coordinate Expression of the PRM1, PRM2, and TNP2 Multigene Locus in Human Testis

Susan M. Wykes, James E. Nelson, Daniel W. Visscher, Daniel Djakiew, Stephen A. Krawetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Maintenance of the transcriptionally inert state of the mature human spermatozoon requires the expression of the various members of the human protamine gene cluster prior to the final stages of spermatogenesis. During this process, known as spermiogenesis, round spermatids morphologically differentiate into mature spermatozoa. The expression of the PRM1, PRM2, and TNP2 genes facilitates the compaction and condensation of the genetic material within the developing spermatid. To understand better the coordinate control governing this transformation, we have examined the localization and distribution of the human protamines PRM1 and PRM2 and transition protein TNP2 transcripts during human spermatogenesis. The stage-specific expression of these transcripts was determined by in situ hybridization analysis using [α-35S]-labeled cRNA probes. PRM1, PRM2, and TNP2 transcripts were abundant in association with round and elongating spermatids, located in the adluminal region of the seminiferous epithelium. They were not observed in association with spermatogonia, spermatocytes, Sertoli cells, or interstitial cells. These data indicate that the human PRM1, PRM2, and TNP2 transcripts are expressed postmeiotically in round and elongating spermatids. The quantitative evaluation of each transcript was determined as a function of the relative optical density per unit area. In all cases examined, the relative level of each transcript was consistent with the following pattern, PRM2 > PRM1 ≃ TNP2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalDNA and Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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