A role for mitochondrial DNA and sperm survival

Justin C. St John, Denny Sakkas, Christopher L. R. Barratt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This review outlines the role of mitochondria in providing energy for cell function and discusses the relevance of mutations to various cell types within the mitochondrion’s own genome. In particular, we describe some of the mutations reported in sperm mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and discuss the relevance of these mutations to sperm function. A strong link has been established between the effects of free radicals on the mitochondrial genome and the mitochondrial inner membrane potential (m). We examine whether this link is applicable to spermatozoa and suggest that those cells with higher levels of mtDNA mutation may have a weakened m that may affect the function of the organelle. We then discuss the role that mitochondria have in mediating cell death and how they may regulate sperm survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-99
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Andrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2000


  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • DNA, Mitochondrial/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Spermatozoa/cytology


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