Most eukaryotic cells are capable of taking up long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) to be used for a variety of cellular processes. Low levels of cellular uptake may occur by simple diffusion of these hydrophobic molecules through the plasma membrane. However, tissues such as cardiac muscle and fat specifically and efficiently take up and release LCFAs in a regulated fashion. In cardiac myocytes and adipocytes, a recently described integral plasma membrane fatty acid transport protein (FATP) functions as an LCFA transporter. FATP may play a role in abnormalities o f LCFA uptake and metabolism in cardiac pathophysiology.