Interaction of fatty acids with recombinant rat intestinal and liver fatty acid-binding proteins Academic Article uri icon


  • Intestinal enterocytes contain two homologous fatty acid-binding proteins, intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP)2 and liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP). Since the functional basis for this multiplicity is not known, the fatty acid-binding specificity of recombinant forms of both rat I-FABP and rat L-FABP was examined. A systematic comparative analysis of the 18 carbon chain length fatty acid binding parameters, using both radiolabeled (stearic, oleic, and linoleic) and fluorescent (trans-parinaric and cis-parinaric) fatty acids, was undertaken. Results obtained with a classical Lipidex-1000 binding assay, which requires separation of bound from free fatty acid, were confirmed with a fluorescent fatty acid-binding assay not requiring separation of bound and unbound ligand. Depending on the nature of the fatty acid ligand, I-FABP bound fatty acid had dissociation constants between 0.2 and 3.1 microM and a consistent 1:1 molar ratio. The dissociation constants for L-FABP bound fatty acids ranged between 0.9 and 2.6 microM and the protein bound up to 2 mol fatty acid per mole of protein. Both fatty acid-binding proteins exhibited relatively higher affinity for unsaturated fatty acids as compared to saturated fatty acids of the same chain length. cis-Parinaric acid or trans-parinaric acid (each containing four double bonds) bound to L-FABP and I-FABP were displaced in a competitive manner by non-fluorescent fatty acid. Hill plots of the binding of cis- and trans- parinaric acid to L-FABP showed that the binding affinities of the two sites were very similar and did not exhibit cooperativity. The lack of fluorescence self-quenching upon binding 2 mol of either trans- or cis-parinaric acid/mol L-FABP is consistent with the presence of two binding sites with dissimilar orientation in the L-FABP. Thus, the difference in binding capacity between I-FABP and L-FABP predicts a structurally different binding site or sites.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nemecz, G., Hubbell, T., Jefferson, J. R., Lowe, J. B., & Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 107

complete list of authors

  • Nemecz, G||Hubbell, T||Jefferson, JR||Lowe, JB||Schroeder, F

publication date

  • April 1991