Long chain acyl-CoA synthetases (ACSL) and fatty acid transport proteins (FATP) activate fatty acids to acyl-CoAs in the initial step of fatty acid metabolism. Numerous isoforms of ACSL and FATP exist with different tissue distribution patterns, intracellular locations, and substrate preferences, suggesting that each isoform has distinct functions in channeling fatty acids into different metabolic pathways. Because fatty acids, acyl-CoAs, and downstream lipid metabolites regulate various transcription factors that control hepatic energy metabolism, we hypothesized that ACSL or FATP isoforms differentially regulate hepatic gene expression. Using small interference RNA (siRNA), we knocked down each liver-specific ACSL and FATP isoform in rat primary hepatocyte cultures and subsequently analyzed reporter gene activity of numerous transcription factors and performed quantitative mRNA analysis of their target genes. Compared with control cells, which were transfected with control siRNA, knockdown of acyl-CoA synthetase 3 (ACSL3) significantly decreased reporter gene activity of several lipogenic transcription factors such as peroxisome proliferator activation receptor-γ, carbohydrate-responsive element-binding protein, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c, and liver X receptor-α and the expression of their target genes. These findings were further supported by metabolic labeling studies that showed [1-14C]acetate incorporation into lipid extracts was decreased in cells treated with ACSL3 siRNAs and that ACSL3 expression is up-regulated in ob/ob mice and mice fed a high sucrose diet. ACSL3 knockdown decreased total acyl- CoA synthetase activity without substantially altering the expression of other ACSL isoforms. In summary, these results identify a novel role for ACSL3 in mediating transcriptional control of hepatic lipogenesis.