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The protamines are a diverse family of small arginine-rich proteins that are synthesized in the late-stage spermatids of many animals and plants and bind to DNA, condensing the spermatid genome into a genetically inactive state. Vertebrates have from one to 15 protamine genes per haploid genome, which are clustered together on the same chromosome.(More)
Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, conventional epifluorescence microscopy, and laser scanning confocal microscopy followed by three-dimensional reconstruction we describe a well-defined higher order packaging of the human genome in the sperm cell nucleus. This was determined by the spatial localization of centromere and telomere regions of all(More)
RecBCD enzyme is a processive DNA helicase and nuclease that participates in the repair of chromosomal DNA through homologous recombination. We have visualized directly the movement of individual RecBCD enzymes on single molecules of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Detection involves the optical trapping of solitary, fluorescently tagged dsDNA molecules that(More)
DNA in mammalian, and most vertebrate sperm, is packaged by protamines into a highly condensed, biochemically inert form of chromatin. A model is proposed for the structure of this DNA-protamine complex which describes the site and mode of protamine binding to DNA and postulates, for the first time, specific inter- and intraprotamine interactions essential(More)
Protamines were extracted from the sperm of fertile and infertile human males and the relative proportion of protamines 1, 2, and 3 were determined by scanning microdensitometry following electrophoresis of total protamine in polyacrylamide gels. The proportion of the three protamines was found to be similar in sperm obtained from different normal males.(More)
The DNA in human sperm chromatin is packaged into nucleoprotamine (approximately 85%) and nucleohistone (approximately 15%). Whether these two chromatin fractions are sequence-specific subsets of the spermatozoon genome is the question addressed in this report. Sequence-specific packaging would suggest distinct structural and functional roles for the(More)
We have compared the relative proportion of protamine 1 (P1) and protamine 2 (P2) bound to DNA in the sperm of a variety of eutherian mammals to obtain insight into how these two proteins interact in sperm chromatin. Gel electrophoresis (combined with microdensitometry) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were used to determine the content of(More)
OBJECTIVE To determine whether the reduction in the protamine P2 content (increased P1/P2 ratio) reported in some infertile patients could result from incomplete processing of protamine P2 precursors. DESIGN Analysis of samples with a marked reduction in the protamine P2 content using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subsequent detection of(More)
The DNA in sperm and certain viruses is condensed by arginine-rich proteins into toroidal subunits, a form of packaging that inactivates their entire genome. Individual DNA molecules were manipulated with an optical trap to examine the kinetics of torus formation induced by the binding of protamine and a subset of its DNA binding domain, Arg6. Condensation(More)
Conditions are described that permit the quantitative extraction of chromatin proteins from the epididymal sperm of the mouse. These proteins have been isolated free of contaminating tail proteins following removal of the tails with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Without this treatment, numerous acid-soluble tail proteins coextract with the nuclear(More)