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Pflugers Arch. 2004 Feb;447(5):722-7. Epub 2003 Jul 11.

A current review of fatty acid transport proteins (SLC27).

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  • 1Research Institute, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Ames Bldg., 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA.


Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are not only important metabolites but contribute to many cellular functions including activation of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms and nuclear transcription factors such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAPs). To assert their diverse effects LCFAs have first to traverse the plasma membrane, a process that can occur either through diffusion or be mediated by proteins. Considerable evidence has accumulated to show that in addition to a diffusional component, the intestine, heart, adipose tissue, and the liver express a saturable and specific LCFA transport system. Identifying the postulated fatty acid transporters is of considerable importance, since both increased and decreased fatty acid uptake have been implicated in diseases such as type-2 diabetes and acute liver failure. Fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs/solute carrier family 27) are integral transmembrane proteins that enhance the uptake of long-chain and very long chain fatty acids into cells. In humans FATPs comprise a family of six highly homologous proteins, hsFATP1-6, which are found in all fatty acid-utilizing tissues of the body. This review will focus on a brief discussion of FATP expression patterns, regulation, structure, and mechanism of transport.

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