New insights into the structure and function of fatty acid-binding proteins

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Jul;59(7):1096-116. doi: 10.1007/s00018-002-8490-y.


Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are members of a superfamily of lipid-binding proteins, and occur intracellularly in vertebrates and invertebrates. This review presents recent findings on the diversity of these FABPs and their proposed roles in fatty acid (FA) metabolism and other cellular processes. Special attention is paid to the structural features of the different mammalian FABP types and the physiological role of these proteins in FA transport, cell growth and differentiation, cellular signalling, gene transcription and cytoprotection. Additionally, data on FABP knockout mice and the implication of FABP in medicine are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 7
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • FABP7 protein, human
  • Fabp5 protein, mouse
  • Fabp7 protein, mouse
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 7
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins