FABP7 was initially isolated from a human fetal brain cDNA library and whose mRNA was expressed in adult brain and muscle tissues at low levels. The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the fatty acid binding protein (FABPs) family, a group of small, highly conserved, cytoplasmic proteins that bind long-chain fatty acids and other hydrophobic ligands. FABPs are thought to play roles in fatty acid uptake, transport, and metabolism. FABP7 is a downstream gene of the Pax6 transcription factor and has been suggested to be essential for the maintenance of neuroepithelial cells during early cortical development. More recently, FABP7 was found to be frequently expressed in melanomas. Down-regulation of FABP7 through RNAi expression could reduce in vitro cell proliferation and Matrigel invasion, suggesting that FABP7 may be a potential target for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
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