Evolutionarily conserved mammalian adenine nucleotide translocase 4 is essential for spermatogenesis

Jeffrey V. Brower, Nemanja Rodic, Tsugio Seki, Marda Jorgensen, Naime Fliess, Anthony T. Yachnis, John R. McCarrey, S. Paul Oh, Naohiro Terada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The adenine nucleotide translocases (Ant) facilitate the transport of ADP and ATP by an antiport mechanism across the inner mitochondrial membrane, thus playing an essential role in cellular energy metabolism. We recently identified a novel member of the Ant family in mouse, Ant4, of which gene configuration as well as amino acid homology is well conserved among mammals. The conservation of Ant4 in mammals, along with the absence of Ant4 in nonmammalian species, suggests a unique and indispensable role for this ADP/ATP carrier in mammalian development. Of interest, in contrast to its paralog Ant2, which is encoded by the X chromosome and ubiquitously expressed in somatic cells, Ant4 is encoded by an autosome and selectively expressed in testicular germ cells. Immunohistochemical examination as well as RNA expression analysis using separated spermatogenic cell types revealed that Ant4 expression was particularly high in spermatocytes. When we generated Ant4-deficient mice by targeted disruption, a significant reduction in testicular size was observed without any other distinguishable abnormalities in the mice. Histological examination as well as stage-specific gene expression analysis in adult and neonatal testes revealed a severe reduction of spermatocytes accompanied by increased apoptosis. Subsequently, the Ant4-deficient male mice were infertile. Taken together, these data elucidated the indispensable role of Ant4 in murine spermatogenesis. Considering the unique conservation and chromosomal location of the Ant family genes in mammals, the Ant4 gene may have arisen in mammalian ancestors and been conserved in mammals to serve as the sole and essential mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier during spermatogenesis where the sex chromosome-linked Ant2 gene is inactivated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29658-29666
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 5 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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