Heart-type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP)

Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are divided into at least three distinct types, namely the hepatic-, intestinal- and cardiac-type. They form 14-15 kDa proteins and are thought to participate in the uptake, intracellular metabolism and/or transport of long-chain fatty acids. They may also be responsible in the modulation of cell growth and proliferation.

Human heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) also known as mammary-derived growth inhibitor is a cytoplasmic protein encoded by the human FABP3 gene.1-2

H-FABP is released from cardiac myocytes following an ischemic episode and is a sensitive biomarker for myocardial infarction (MI). 3-5  H-FABP can be detected in the blood within one to three hours of MI. H-FABP is 20 times more specific to cardiac muscle than myoglobin,6 it is found at 10-fold lower levels in skeletal muscle than heart muscle and the amounts in the kidney, liver and small intestine are even lower again.7-8

Studies showed that measuring H-FABP in combination with troponin increased the diagnostic accuracy and with a negative predictive value of 98% could be used to identify those not suffering from MI at the early time point of 3–6 hours post chest pain onset. Using the combination of H-FABP with troponin to diagnose MI within 6 hours is very effective.9-11


1. Phelan CM, Larsson C, Baird S, Futreal PA, Ruttledge MH, Morgan K, Tonin P, Hung H, Korneluk RG, Pollak MN, Narod SA (May 1996). “The human mammary-derived growth inhibitor (MDGI) gene: genomic structure and mutation analysis in human breast tumors”. Genomics 34 (1): 63–8.

2. “Entrez Gene: FABP3 fatty acid binding protein 3, muscle and heart (mammary-derived growth inhibitor)”.

3. Kleine AH, Glatz JF, Van Nieuwenhoven FA, Van der Vusse GJ (Oct 1992). “Release of heart fatty acid-binding protein into plasma after acute myocardial infarction in man”. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 116 (1-2): 155–62.

4. Tanaka T, Hirota Y, Sohmiya K, Nishimura S, Kawamura K (Apr 1991). “Serum and urinary human heart fatty acid-binding protein in acute myocardial infarction”. Clinical Biochemistry 24 (2): 195–201.

5. Watanabe K, Wakabayashi H, Veerkamp JH, Ono T, Suzuki T (May 1993). “Immunohistochemical distribution of heart-type fatty acid-binding protein immunoreactivity in normal human tissues and in acute myocardial infarct”. The Journal of Pathology 170 (1): 59–65

6. Glatz JF, van Bilsen M, Paulussen RJ, Veerkamp JH, van der Vusse GJ, Reneman RS (Jul 1988). “Release of fatty acid-binding protein from isolated rat heart subjected to ischemia and reperfusion or to the calcium paradox”. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta 961 (1): 148–52.

7. Ghani F, Wu AH, Graff L, Petry C, Armstrong G, Prigent F, Brown M (May 2000). “Role of heart-type fatty acid-binding protein in early detection of acute myocardial infarction”. Clinical Chemistry 46 (5): 718–9. PMID 10794758.

8. Pelsers MM, Hermens WT, Glatz JF (Feb 2005). “Fatty acid-binding proteins as plasma markers of tissue injury”. Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 352 (1-2): 15–35

9. Azzazy HM, Pelsers MM, Christenson RH (Jan 2006). “Unbound free fatty acids and heart-type fatty acid-binding protein: diagnostic assays and clinical applications”. Clinical Chemistry 52 (1): 19–29.

10. McCann CJ, Glover BM, Menown IB, Moore MJ, McEneny J, Owens CG, Smith B, Sharpe PC, Young IS, Adgey JA (Dec 2008). “Novel biomarkers in early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction compared with cardiac troponin T”. European Heart Journal 29 (23): 2843–50.

11. Li CJ, Li JQ, Liang XF, Li XX, Cui JG, Yang ZJ, Guo Q, Cao KJ, Huang J (Mar 2010). “Point-of-care test of heart-type fatty acid-binding protein for the diagnosis of early acute myocardial infarction”. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 31 (3): 307–12.

Catalog No Antigen Clone Application Data Sheet  
DA-2011 H-FABP A10 ELISA Download PDF Request Quote
DA-2012 H-FABP E10 ELISA Download PDF Request Quote