Semin Thromb Hemost
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1736574
Review Article

Protamine—The Journey from DNA to Heparin Neutralization to Gene therapy

Jecko Thachil
1  Department of Haematology, Manchester University Hospitals, Manchester, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations


Protamine is now well recognized as a key heparin neutralizing agent. However, protamine was discovered over a century ago, during experiments performed to uncover the secrets behind heritability. Although protamine was discovered as a highly charged protein, it did not receive the attention it deserved until the dawn of insulin era, when it was used to create the neutral protamine Hagedorn formulation. Based on the same principles, protamine was identified to neutralize heparin and has since been used successfully for many years in cardiothoracic surgery. More recently, its clinical applications have extended to gene therapy. In this historical sketch, the journey from the discovery of protamine, onwards to heparin neutralization, and up to its utilization in genetic modulatory treatments is detailed.

Publication History

Publication Date:
02 November 2021 (online)

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