Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

Adenine nucleotide translocase 4 is expressed within embryonic ovaries and dispensable during oogenesis.

PMID 25031318


Adenine nucleotide translocase (Ant) facilitates the exchange of adenosine triphosphate across the mitochondrial inner membrane and plays a critical role for bioenergetics in eukaryotes. Mice have 3 Ant paralogs, Ant1 (Slc25a4), Ant2 (Slc25a5), and Ant4 (Slc25a31), which are expressed in a tissue-dependent manner. We previously identified that Ant4 was expressed exclusively in testicular germ cells in adult mice and essential for spermatogenesis and subsequently male fertility. Further investigation into the process of spermatogenesis revealed that Ant4 was particularly highly expressed during meiotic prophase I and indispensable for normal progression of leptotene spermatocytes to the stages thereafter. In contrast, the expression and roles of Ant4 in female germ cells have not previously been elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that the Ant4 gene is expressed during embryonic ovarian development during which meiotic prophase I occurs. We confirmed embryonic ovary-specific Ant4 expression using a bacterial artificial chromosome transgene. In contrast to male, however, Ant4 null female mice were fertile although the litter size was slightly decreased. They showed apparently normal ovarian development which was morphologically indistinguishable from the control animals. These data indicate that Ant4 is a meiosis-specific gene expressed during both male and female gametogenesis however indispensable only during spermatogenesis and not oogenesis. The differential effects of Ant4 depletion within the processes of male and female gametogenesis may be explained by meiosis-specific inactivation of the X-linked Ant2 gene in male, a somatic paralog of the Ant4 gene.