Fatty acid transport protein (FATP) was identified by expression cloning strategies (Schaffer, J. E., and Lodish, H. F. (1994) Cell 79, 427-436) and shown by transfection analysis to catalyze the transfer of long-chain fatty acids across the plasma membrane of cells. It is expressed highly in tissues exhibiting rapid fatty acid metabolism such as skeletal muscle, heart, and adipose. FATP mRNA levels are down-regulated by insulin in cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes and up-regulated by nutrient depletion in murine adipose tissue (Man, M. Z., Hui, T. Y., Schaffer, J. E., Lodish, H. F., and Bernlohr, D. A. (1996) Mol. Endocrinol. 10, 1021-1028). To determine the molecular mechanism of insulin regulation of FATP transcription, we have isolated the murine FATP gene and its 5'-flanking sequences. The FATP gene spans ~16 kilobases and contains 13 exons, of which exon 2 is alternatively spliced. S1 nuclease and RNase protection assays revealed the presence of multiple transcription start sites; the DNA sequence upstream of the predominant transcription start sites lacks a typical TATA box. By transient transfection assays in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, the inhibitory action of insulin on FATP transcription was localized to a cis-acting element with the sequence 5'-TGTTTTC-3' from -1347 to -1353. This sequence is very similar to the insulin response sequence found in the regulatory region of other genes negatively regulated by insulin such as those encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, tyrosine aminotransferase, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed that the murine FATP gene is localized to chromosome 8, band 8B3.3. Interestingly, this region of chromosome 8 contains a cluster of three other genes important for fatty acid homeostasis, lipoprotein lipase, the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1. These results characterize the murine FATP gene and its insulin responsiveness as well as present a framework for future studies of its role in lipid metabolism, obesity, and type II diabetes mellitus.