The objective of this study was to gain insight into the underlying mechanisms of fat deposition. Two sheep breeds with large fat-tail (Lori-Bakhtiari) and with thin-tail (Zel) were used as models. To determine important and key candidate lipid metabolism related genes, comparative genomic approaches were employed. Gene expression profiles of adipose tissues were analyzed in human, pig, and cattle by express sequence tag (EST) analysis. EST analysis determined 65, 102 and 125 transcripts in human, pig and cattle respectively with at least 10 fold over-expression in the adipose tissue. Based on our comparative functional genomic analysis, seven genes were more abundant and common in investigated mammalian adipose tissues promising a conserved novel gene network in mammalian lipid metabolism. The candidate genes including fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), fatty acid synthase (FASN), Stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) and Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) were selected for further gene expression investigation within two sheep breeds. The real time PCR results showed that among the genes tested, FABP4 was expressed at higher levels than the others. The expression of FABP4 was significantly higher in the fat-tail of Lori-Bakhtiari than in the fat-tail and visceral adipose tissues of Zel (P<0.05). The findings suggest that the FABP4 gene expression in the fat-tail is an important index of fat deposition.