Intronic polymorphism in the fatty acid transport protein 1 gene is associated with increased plasma triglyceride levels in a French population.
Fatty acids play important biological roles in cells. The precise mechanism whereby fatty acids cross the plasma membrane is still poorly understood. They can cross membranes because of their hydrophobic properties and/or be transported by specific proteins. Recently, a gene coding for fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1), an integral plasma membrane protein implicated in this process, was cloned in humans. We screened the gene by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and detected an A/G polymorphism in intron 8. We analyzed the potential relations of this genetic polymorphism with various obesity markers and with plasma lipid profiles in a random sample of 1144 French subjects aged 35 to 64 years. We detected statistically significant associations between this FATP1 A/G polymorphism and an increase in plasma triglyceride levels, mainly in women. These results suggest that genetic variability in the FATP1 gene may affect lipid metabolism, especially in women, and reinforce the potential implication of FATP1 in lipid homeostasis.