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Can J Appl Physiol. 2000 Oct;25(5):333-52.

Fatty acid transport proteins facilitate fatty acid uptake in skeletal muscle.

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Department of Physiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


In view of the importance of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) to many cellular processes, it may be desirable to regulate the LCFA disposition in the cell. Such regulation may be present at the level of the plasma membrane, since a number of putative LCFA transport proteins have been cloned. The development of a model system of giant vesicles has proven to be important in identifying the metabolic role of the LCFA transport system. LCFA transport rates and transporters (FABPpm and FAT/CD36) are scaled with oxidative capacity of heart and muscle. FAT/CD36 is a critical LCFA transport protein in muscle. With chronic contraction the increase in this protein also results in an increase in LCFA transport. Most importantly, LCFA transport is also increased acutely by muscle contraction, involving the translocation of FAT/CD36 from intracellular depots to the surface of the muscle cell. The acute (minutes) and chronic (days) regulation of LCFA transporters and transport by muscle may be an important mechanism for LCFA utilization during exercise and adaptable with training and with a metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes.

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