Fatty acid transport and activation and the expression patterns of genes involved in fatty acid trafficking

Angel Sandoval, Peter Fraisl, Elsa Arias-Barrau, Concetta C. DiRusso, Diane Singer, Whitney Sealls, Paul N. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


These studies defined the expression patterns of genes involved in fatty acid transport, activation and trafficking using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and established the kinetic constants of fatty acid transport in an effort to define whether vectorial acylation represents a common mechanism in different cell types (3T3-L1 fibroblasts and adipocytes, Caco-2 and HepG2 cells and three endothelial cell lines (b-END3, HAEC, and HMEC)). As expected, fatty acid transport protein (FATP)1 and long-chain acyl CoA synthetase (Acsl)1 were the predominant isoforms expressed in adipocytes consistent with their roles in the transport and activation of exogenous fatty acids destined for storage in the form of triglycerides. In cells involved in fatty acid processing including Caco-2 (intestinal-like) and HepG2 (liver-like), FATP2 was the predominant isoform. The patterns of Acsl expression were distinct between these two cell types with Acsl3 and Acsl5 being predominant in Caco-2 cells and Acsl4 in HepG2 cells. In the endothelial lines, FATP1 and FATP4 were the most highly expressed isoforms; the expression patterns for the different Acsl isoforms were highly variable between the different endothelial cell lines. The transport of the fluorescent long-chain fatty acid C1-BODIPY-C12 in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts and 3T3-L1 adipocytes followed typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics; the apparent efficiency (kcat/KT) of this process increases over 2-fold (2.1 × 106-4.5 × 106 s-1 M-1) upon adipocyte differentiation. The Vmax values for fatty acid transport in Caco-2 and HepG2 cells were essentially the same, yet the efficiency was 55% higher in Caco-2 cells (2.3 × 106 s-1 M-1 versus 1.5 × 106 s-1 M-1). The kinetic parameters for fatty acid transport in three endothelial cell types demonstrated they were the least efficient cell types for this process giving Vmax values that were nearly 4-fold lower than those defined form 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Caco-2 cells and HepG2 cells. The same cells had reduced efficiency for fatty acid transport (ranging from 0.82 × 106 s-1 M-1 to 1.35 × 106 s-1 M-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acyl CoA synthetase
  • FABP
  • FATP
  • Fatty acid
  • Kinetics
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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