Fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3, also termed heart-type fatty acid binding protein) is a member of the intracellular lipid-binding protein family that may be essential in fatty acid transport, cell growth, cellular signaling and gene transcription. Previously FABP3 was involved in apoptosis-associated congenital cardiac malformations. FABP3 knockdown exhibited significant toxic effects on cardiac development and mitochondrial function, which may be responsible for the knockdown of FABP3-induced apoptosis. FABP3 as a candidate gene underlying the etiology of congenital heart defects. Overexpression of FABP3 inhibited cell growth and proliferation via negative regulation of the cell cycle and down-regulation of cell growth factors, but enhances cell survival in hypoxic or ischemic conditions. FABPs are known to be carrier proteins for transporting fatty acids and other lipophilic substances from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, where these lipids are released to a group of nuclear receptors such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs).