Reproductive function for a C-terminus extended, male-transmitted cytochrome c oxidase subunit II protein expressed in both spermatozoa and eggs

Jennifer M. Walker, University of Southern Mississippi


Our previous study documented expression of a male-transmitted cytochrome c oxidase subunit II protein (MCOX2), with a C-terminus extension (MCOX2e), in unionoidean bivalve testes and sperm mitochondria. Here, we present evidence demonstrating that MCOX2 is seasonally expressed in testis, with a peak shortly before fertilization that is independent of sperm density. MCOX2 is localized to the inner and outer sperm mitochondrial membranes and the MCOX2 antibody's epitope is conserved across > 65 million years of evolution. We also demonstrate the presence of male-transmitted mtDNA and season-specific MCOX2 spatial variation in ovaries. We hypothesize that MCOX2 plays a role in reproduction through gamete maturation, fertilization and/or embryogenesis. Published by Elsevier B. V. on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.