Review Article

Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 39-48

First online:

The multigene family of fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs): Function, structure and polymorphism

  • Agata ChmurzyńskaAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Genetics and Breeding, August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznań Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are members of the superfamily of lipid-binding proteins (LBP). So far 9 different FABPs, with tissue-specific distribution, have been identified: L (liver), I (intestinal), H (muscle and heart), A (adipocyte), E (epidermal), Il (ileal), B (brain), M (myelin) and T (testis). The primary role of all the FABP family members is regulation of fatty acid uptake and intracellular transport. The structure of all FABPs is similar — the basic motif characterizing these proteins is β-barrel, and a single ligand (e.g. a fatty acid, cholesterol, or retinoid) is bound in its internal water-filled cavity. Despite the wide variance in the protein sequence, the gene structure is identical. The FABP genes consist of 4 exons and 3 introns and a few of them are located in the same chromosomal region. For example,A-FABP, E-FABP andM-FABP create a gene cluster. Because of their physiological properties some FABP genes were tested in order to identify mutations altering lipid metabolism. Furthermore, the porcineA-FABP andH-FABP were studied as candidate genes with major effect on fatness traits.

Key words

fatty acid-binding protein genes FABP fatness