The process of fatty acid transport across the plasma membrane occurs by several mechanisms that involve distinct membrane-bound and membrane-associated proteins and enzymes. Among these are the fatty acid transport proteins (FATP) and long-chain acyl CoA synthetases (Acsl). Previous studies in yeast and adipocytes have shown FATP and Acsl form a physical complex at the plasma membrane and are required for fatty acid transport, which proceeds through a coupled process-linking transport with metabolic activation termed vectorial acylation. At present, six isoforms of FATP and five isoforms of ACSL have been identified in mice and man. In addition, there are a number of splice variants of different FATP and Acsl isoforms. The different FATP and Acsl isoforms have distinct tissue expression profiles and different cellular locations suggesting they function in the channeling of fatty acids into discrete metabolic pools. The concerted activity of these proteins is proposed to allow cells to discriminate different classes of fatty acids and provides the mechanistic basis underpinning the selectivity and specificity of the fatty acid transport process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology