The protein encoded by this gene is a brain fatty acid binding protein. Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are a family 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.
According to one study, FABP7 binds DHA with the highest affinity among all of the FABPs.
Expression of Fabp7 protein in mouse brains at embryonic day 16 (left) and postnatal day 0 (right). At both stages, Fabp7 is strongly expressed in the ventricular zone and radial glia, where neurogenesis is prominent.
FABP7 maps onto human chromosome 6q22.31, a schizophrenia linkage region corroborated by a meta-analysis.
As of 2008, two studies have been conducted into FABP7 as a possible risk gene for schizophrenia, with one, that tested for only one SNP, showing negative and another, with seven SNPs, a positive result. The effect of the gene in the latter study was stronger in males. This study also linked FABP7 variation to weak prepulse inhibition in mice; deficit in PPI is an endophenotypic trait observed in schizophrenia patients and their relatives.
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