Translocation of long chain fatty acids across the plasma membrane--lipid rafts and fatty acid transport proteins

Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Mar;284(1-2):135-40. doi: 10.1007/s11010-005-9034-1. Epub 2006 Feb 14.


Translocation of long chain fatty acids across the plasma membrane is achieved by a concert of co-existing mechanisms. These lipids can passively diffuse, but transport can also be accelerated by certain membrane proteins as well as lipid rafts. Lipid rafts are dynamic assemblies of proteins and lipids, that float freely within the two dimensional matrix of the membrane bilayer. They are receiving increasing attention as devices that regulate membrane function in vivo and play an important role in membrane trafficking and signal transduction. In this review we will discuss how lipid rafts might be involved in the uptake process and how the candidate proteins for fatty acid uptake FAT/CD36 and the FATP proteins interact with these domains. We will also discuss the functional role of FATPs in general. To our understanding FATPs are indirectly involved in the translocation process across the plasma membrane by providing long chain fatty acid synthetase activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Diffusion
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / physiology
  • Fatty Acid Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Lipids / physiology
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism


  • CD36 Antigens
  • Fatty Acid Transport Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Fatty Acid Synthases