The murine fatty acid transport protein (FATP) was identified on the basis of its ability to facilitate uptake of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) when expressed in mammalian cells. To delineate FATP domains important for transport function, we cloned the human heart FATP ortholog. Comparison of the human, murine, and yeast amino acid sequences identified a highly conserved motif, IYTSGTTGXPK, also found in a number of proteins that form adenylated intermediates. We demonstrate that depletion of intracellular ATP dramatically reduces FATP-mediated LCFA uptake. Furthermore, wildtype FATP specifically binds [α-32P]azido-ATP. Introduction of a serine to alanine substitution (S250A) in the IYTSGTTGXPK motif produces an appropriately expressed and metabolized mutant FATP that demonstrates diminished LCFA transport function and decreased [α-32P]azido-ATP binding. These results are consistent with a mechanism of action for FATP involving ATP binding that is dependent on serine 250 of the IYTSGTTGXPK motif.