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.
Human FABP3, also known as FABP-Heart (H-FABP), FABP-Muscle (M-FABP), and mammary derived growth inhibitor (MDGI), is a member of the intracellular FABP family. FABP3 plays a role in the transport of long chain fatty acids in the cytoplasm.