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Keywords:

  • fatty acid;
  • flip-flop;
  • metabolism;
  • adipogenesis

Abstract

Fatty acid transport is an important process in cellular energy distribution and storage in both normal and pathological states, especially obesity-linked type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fatty acid transport has been studied by the complementary approaches of cell biology and biophysics. According to the latter approach, specific proteins that enhance the uptake and storage of fatty acids are posited as fatty acid translocases, which facilitate fatty acid movement from the outer to inner leaflets of the plasma membrane. According to biophysical studies conducted in vitro, fatty acid translocation occurs by a rapid diffusive process that does not require a protein. Herein, we critically review these two mechanisms and their importance in the regulation of fatty acid uptake in vivo.