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J Biol Chem. 1999 Dec 17;274(51):36300-4.

The fatty acid transport protein (FATP1) is a very long chain acyl-CoA synthetase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.


The primary sequence of the murine fatty acid transport protein (FATP1) is very similar to the multigene family of very long chain (C20-C26) acyl-CoA synthetases. To determine if FATP1 is a long chain acyl coenzyme A synthetase, FATP1-Myc/His fusion protein was expressed in COS1 cells, and its enzymatic activity was analyzed. In addition, mutations were generated in two domains conserved in acyl-CoA synthetases: a 6- amino acid substitution into the putative active site (amino acids 249-254) generating mutant M1 and a 59-amino acid deletion into a conserved C-terminal domain (amino acids 464-523) generating mutant M2. Immunolocalization revealed that the FATP1-Myc/His forms were distributed between the COS1 cell plasma membrane and intracellular membranes. COS1 cells expressing wild type FATP1-Myc/His exhibited a 3-fold increase in the ratio of lignoceroyl-CoA synthetase activity (C24:0) to palmitoyl-CoA synthetase activity (C16:0), characteristic of very long chain acyl-CoA synthetases, whereas both mutant M1 and M2 were catalytically inactive. Detergent-solubilized FATP1-Myc/His was partially purified using nickel-based affinity chromatography and demonstrated a 10-fold increase in very long chain acyl-CoA specific activity (C24:0/C16:0). These results indicate that FATP1 is a very long chain acyl-CoA synthetase and suggest that a potential mechanism for facilitating mammalian fatty acid uptake is via esterification coupled influx.

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