Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and treatment with HIV-protease inhibitor (PI)-based highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) is associated with dysregulated fatty acid and lipid metabolism. Enhanced lipolysis, increased circulating fatty acid levels, and hepatic and intramuscular lipid accumulation appear to contribute to insulin resistance in HIV-infected people treated with PI-based HAART. However, it is unclear whether currently prescribed HIV-PIs directly alter skeletal muscle fatty acid transport, oxidation, and storage. We find that ritonavir (r, 5 μmol/l) plus 20 μmol/l of atazanavir (ATV), lopinavir (LPV), or darunavir (DRV) reduce palmitate oxidation(16-21%) in differentiated C2C12 myotubes. Palmitate oxidation was increased following exposure to high fatty acid media but this effect was blunted when myotubes were pre-exposed to the HIV-PIs. However, LPV/r and DRV/r, but not ATV/r suppressed palmitate uptake into myotubes. We found no effect of the HIV-PIs on FATP1, FATP4, or FABPpm but both CD36/FAT and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) were reduced by all three regimens though ATV/r caused only a small decrease in CPT1, relative to LPV/r or DRV/r. In contrast, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 was increased by all 3 HIV-PIs. These findings suggest that HIV-PIs suppress fatty acid oxidation in murine skeletal muscle cells and that this may be related to decreases in cytosolic- and mitochondrial-associated fatty acid transporters. HIV-PIs may also directly impair fatty acid handling and partitioning in skeletal muscle, and this may contribute to the cluster of metabolic complications that occur in people living with HIV. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.