ATAD3 (ATPase family AAA Domain-containing protein 3) is a mitochondrial membrane bound ATPase whose function has not yet been discovered but its role is essential for embryonic development. The ATAD3 gene has existed since the pluri-cellular organisms with specialized tissues and has remained unique until vertebrates. In primates and human, two other genes have appeared (called ATAD3B and ATAD3C versus ATAD3A the ancestral gene). ATAD3 knock-down in different non-transformed cell lines is associated with drastic changes in the mitochondrial network, inhibition of proliferation and modification of the functional interactions between mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. However, the analysis of the cellular properties of ATAD3A and ATAD3B in different human cancer cell lines shows on the contrary that they can present anti-proliferative and chemoresistant properties. ATAD3 may therefore be implicated in an unknown but essential and growth-linked mitochondrial function existing since pluri-cellular organization and involved in tumorigenesis.