We have identified a subset of Dictyostelium endosomes that carry a long chain fatty acyl coenzyme A-synthetase (LC-FACS 1) on their cytosolic surface. Immunofluorescence studies and observations using GFP-fusion proteins collectively suggest that LC-FACS 1 associates with endosomes a few minutes after their formation, remains bound through the acidic phase of endocytic maturation and dissociates early in the phase where the endosomal content is neutralised prior to exocytosis. Mutants in the fcsA gene, encoding the LC-FACS 1 protein, were constructed by homologous recombination. These cells show a strong defect in the intracellular accumulation of fatty acids, either taken up together with the liquid medium or bound to the surface of particles. Because the mutant cells are otherwise fully competent for macropinocytosis and phagocytosis, we conclude that the LC-FACS 1 protein mediates the retrieval of fatty acids from the lumen of endosomes into the cytoplasm.