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Am J Physiol. 1998 Sep;275(3 Pt 1):E471-8.

Palmitate transport and fatty acid transporters in red and white muscles.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


We performed studies 1) to investigate the kinetics of palmitate transport into giant sarcolemmal vesicles, 2) to determine whether the transport capacity is greater in red muscles than in white muscles, and 3) to determine whether putative long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) transporters are more abundant in red than in white muscles. For these studies we used giant sarcolemmal vesicles, which contained cytoplasmic fatty acid binding protein (FABPc), an intravesicular fatty acid sink. Intravesicular FABPc concentrations were sufficiently high so as not to limit the uptake of palmitate under conditions of maximal palmitate uptake (i.e., 4.5-fold excess in white and 31.3-fold excess in red muscle vesicles). All of the palmitate taken up was recovered as unesterified palmitate. Palmitate uptake was reduced by phloretin (-50%), sulfo-N-succinimidyl oleate (-43%), anti-plasma membrane-bound FABP (FABPpm, -30%), trypsin (-45%), and when incubation temperature was lowered to 0 degrees C (-70%). Palmitate uptake was also reduced by excess oleate (-65%), but not by excess octanoate or by glucose. Kinetic studies showed that maximal transport was 1.8-fold greater in red vesicles than in white vesicles. The Michaelis-Menten constant in both types of vesicles was approximately 6 nM. Fatty acid transport protein mRNA and fatty acid translocase (FAT) mRNA were about fivefold greater in red muscles than in white muscles. FAT/CD36 and FABPpm proteins in red vesicles or in homogenates were greater than in white vesicles or homogenates (P < 0.05). These studies provide the first evidence of a protein-mediated LCFA transport system in skeletal muscle. In this tissue, palmitate transport rates are greater in red than in white muscles because more LCFA transporters are available.

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