Fatty acid binding proteins are small cytoplasmic lipid binding proteins that are expressed in a tissue specific manner. FABPs bind free fatty acids, cholesterol, and retinoids, and are involved in intracellular lipid transport. Circulating FABP levels are used as indicators of tissue damage. Some FABP polymorphisms have been associated with disorders of lipid metabolism and the development of atherosclerosis.
FABP2, also known as intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP or FABPI) and gut FABP (gFABP), is a member of the cytosolic fatty acid binding protein family. FABP2 mediates the absorption and intracellular transport of dietary long-chain fatty acids. Genetic variations of FABP2 are implicated in obesity and Type II diabetes. Human FABP2 shares 78%, 82%, and 86% amino acid sequence identity with mouse, rat, and canine FABP2, respectively.