FAT/CD36 is located on the outer mitochondrial membrane, upstream of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase, and regulates palmitate oxidation.Biochem J. 2011 Jul 01; 437(1):125-34.BJ
FAT/CD36 (fatty acid translocase/Cluster of Differentiation 36), a plasma membrane fatty-acid transport protein, has been found on mitochondrial membranes; however, it remains unclear where FAT/CD36 resides on this organelle or its functional role within mitochondria. In the present study, we demonstrate, using several different approaches, that in skeletal muscle FAT/CD36 resides on the OMM (outer mitochondrial membrane). To determine the functional role of mitochondrial FAT/CD36 in this tissue, we determined oxygen consumption rates in permeabilized muscle fibres in WT (wild-type) and FAT/CD36-KO (knockout) mice using a variety of substrates. Despite comparable muscle mitochondrial content, as assessed by unaltered mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), citrate synthase, β-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, cytochrome c oxidase complex IV and respiratory capacities [maximal OXPHOS (oxidative phosphorylation) respiration] in WT and KO mice, palmitate-supported respiration was 34% lower in KO animals. In contrast, palmitoyl-CoA-supported respiration was unchanged. These results indicate that FAT/CD36 is key for palmitate-supported respiration. Therefore we propose a working model of mitochondrial fatty-acid transport, in which FAT/CD36 is positioned on the OMM, upstream of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase, thereby contributing to the regulation of mitochondrial fatty-acid transport. We further support this model by providing evidence that FAT/CD36 is not located in mitochondrial contact sites, and therefore does not directly interact with carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I as original proposed.