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Mol Cell. 1999 Sep;4(3):299-308.

Identification of the major intestinal fatty acid transport protein.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


While intestinal transport systems for metabolites such as carbohydrates have been well characterized, the molecular mechanisms of fatty acid (FA) transport across the apical plasmalemma of enterocytes have remained largely unclear. Here, we show that FATP4, a member of a large family of FA transport proteins (FATPs), is expressed at high levels on the apical side of mature enterocytes in the small intestine. Further, overexpression of FATP4 in 293 cells facilitates uptake of long chain FAs with the same specificity as enterocytes, while reduction of FATP4 expression in primary enterocytes by antisense oligonucleotides inhibits FA uptake by 50%. This suggests that FATP4 is the principal fatty acid transporter in enterocytes and may constitute a novel target for antiobesity therapy.

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