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Histochem Cell Biol. 2009 Sep;132(3):351-67. doi: 10.1007/s00418-009-0608-y. Epub 2009 Jun 5.

Localization, function and regulation of the two intestinal fatty acid-binding protein types.

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Department of Nutrition, CHU-Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, 3175 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, QC, H3T 1C5, Canada.


Although intestinal (I) and liver (L) fatty acid binding proteins (FABP) have been widely studied, the physiological significance of the presence of the two FABP forms (I- and L-FABP) in absorptive cells remains unknown as do the differences related to their distribution along the crypt-villus axis, regional expression, ontogeny and regulation in the human intestine. Our morphological experiments supported the expression of I- and L-FABP as early as 13 weeks of gestation. Whereas cytoplasmic immunofluorescence staining of L-FABP was barely detectable in the lower half of the villus and in the crypt epithelial cells, I-FABP was visualized in epithelial cells of the crypt-villus axis in all intestinal segments until the adult period in which the staining was maximized in the upper part of the villus. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed more intense labeling of L-FABP compared with I-FABP, accompanied with a heterogeneous distribution in the cytoplasm, microvilli and basolateral membranes. By western blot analysis, I- and L-FABP at 15 weeks of gestation appeared predominant in jejunum compared with duodenum, ileum, proximal and distal colon. Exploration of the maturation aspect documented a rise in L-FABP in adult tissues. Permanent transfections of Caco-2 cells with I-FABP cDNA resulted in decreased lipid export, apolipoprotein (apo) biogenesis and chylomicron secretion. Additionally, supplementation of Caco-2 with insulin, hydrocortisone and epidermal growth factor differentially modulated the expression of I- and L-FABP, apo B-48 and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), emphasizing that these key proteins do not exhibit a parallel modulation. Overall, our findings indicate that the two FABPs display differences in localization, regulation and developmental pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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