Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are a family of fatty acid-binding small proteins essential for lipid trafficking, energy storage and gene regulation. Although they have 20 to 70% amino acid sequence identity, these proteins share a conserved tertiary structure comprised of ten beta sheets and two alpha helixes. Availability of the complete genomes of 34 invertebrates, together with transcriptomes and ESTs, allowed us to systematically investigate the gene structure and alternative splicing of FABP genes over a wide range of phyla. Only in genomes of two cnidarian species could FABP genes not be identified. The genomic loci for FABP genes were diverse and their genomic structure varied. In particular, the intronless FABP genes, in most of which the key residues involved in fatty acid binding varied, were common in five phyla. Interestingly, several species including one trematode, one nematode and four arthropods generated FABP mRNA variants via alternative splicing. These results demonstrate that both gene duplication and post-transcriptional modifications are used to generate diverse FABPs in species studied. © 2013 Zheng et al.
Zheng, Y., Blair, D., & Bradley, J. E. (2013). Phyletic Distribution of Fatty Acid-Binding Protein Genes. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077636