Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 November 1; 440(4): 743–748.


Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


In mammals, the fatty acid transport proteins (FATP1 through FATP6) are members of a highly conserved family of proteins, which function in fatty acid transport proceeding through vectorial acylation and in the activation of very long chain fatty acids, branched chain fatty acids and secondary bile acids. FATP1, 2 and 4, for example directly function in fatty acid transport and very long chain fatty acids activation while FATP5 does not function in fatty acid transport but activates secondary bile acids. In the present work, we have used stable isotopically labeled fatty acids differing in carbon length and saturation in cells expressing FATP2 to gain further insights into how this protein functions in fatty acid transport and intracellular fatty acid trafficking. Our previous studies showed the expression of FATP2 modestly increased C16:0-CoA and C20:4-CoA and significantly increased C18:3-CoA and C22:6-CoA after 4hr. The increases in C16:0-CoA and C18:3-CoA suggest FATP2 must necessarily partner with a long chain acyl CoA synthetase (Acsl) to generate C16:0-CoA and C18:3-CoA through vectorial acylation. The very long chain acyl CoA synthetase activity of FATP2 is consistent in the generation of C20:4-CoA and C22:6-CoA coincident with transport from their respective exogenous fatty acids. The trafficking of exogenous fatty acids into phosphatidic acid (PA) and into the major classes of phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylinositol (PI), and phosphatidyserine (PS)) resulted in distinctive profiles, which changed with the expression of FATP2. The trafficking of exogenous C16:0 and C22:6 into PA was significant where there was 6.9- and 5.3-fold increased incorporation, respectively, over the control; C18:3 and C20:4 also trended to increase in the PA pool while there were no changes for C18:1 and C18:2. The trafficking of C18:3 into PC and PI trended higher and approached significance. In the case of C20:4, expression of FATP2 resulted in increases in all four classes of phospholipid, indicating little selectivity. In the case of C22:6, there were significant increases of this exogenous fatty acids being trafficking into PC and PI. Collectively, these data support the conclusion that FATP2 has a dual function in the pathways linking the transport and activation of exogenous fatty acids. We discuss the differential roles of FATP2 and its role in both fatty acid transport and fatty acid activation in the context of lipid homeostasis.