Studies of the fatty acid-binding site of rat liver fatty acid-binding protein using fluorescent fatty acids

J. Storch, N. M. Bass, A. M. Kleinfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Rat liver fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) is a 14.3-kDa cytosolic protein which binds long chain free fatty acids (ffa) and is believed to participate in intracellular movement and/or distribution of ffa. In the studies described here fluorescently labeled ffa were used to examine the physical nature of the ffa-binding site on FABP. The fluorescent analogues were 16- and 18-carbon ffa with an anthracene moiety covalently attached at eight different points along the length of the hydrocarbon chain (AOffa). Emission maxima of all FABP-bound AOffa were found to be considerably blue-shifted with respect to emission of phospholipid membrane-bound AOffa, suggesting a high degree of motional constraint for protein-bound ffa. Large fluorescence quantum yields and long excited state life-times indicate that the FABP-binding site for ffa is highly hydrophobic. Analysis of rotational correlation times for the FABP-bound Aoffa suggest that the ffa are tightly bound to the protein. Variation of the quantum yield with attachment site suggests that the carboxylic acid group of the fatty acyl chain is located near the aqueous surface of the FABP. The rest of the ffa hydrocarbon chain is buried within the protein in a hydrophobic pocket and is particularly constrained at the midportion of the acyl chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8708-8713
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Studies of the fatty acid-binding site of rat liver fatty acid-binding protein using fluorescent fatty acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this