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Pharmacol Rev. 2002 Sep;54(3):431-67.

Caveolae: from cell biology to animal physiology.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York 10461, USA.


Among the membrane compartments of a cell, vesicles known as "caveolae" have long defied functional characterization. However, since the identification of a family of proteins termed "caveolins", that form and reside in caveolae, a better understanding has emerged. It is now clear that caveolae do not merely play a singular role in the cell, but are pleiotropic in nature-serving to modulate many cellular functions. The purpose of this review is to explicate what is known about caveolins/caveolae and highlight growing areas of caveolar research.

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