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Traffic. 2000 Mar;1(3):212-7.

Caveolins and cellular cholesterol balance.

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Department of Biochemistry, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, 00300 Helsinki, Finland.


Caveolins are major integral membrane components of caveolae. Over the last few years, evidence has accumulated for a close link between caveolin, caveolae, and the regulation of cellular cholesterol levels. However, the exact role of caveolin in this process, the intracellular trafficking routes followed by caveolin/cholesterol complexes, and the relationship of caveolin-cholesterol to other caveolin-mediated processes such as signal transduction have remained unclear. Recent findings from a number of systems suggest that specific signaling pathways require precise regulation of cellular cholesterol. Here we review evidence for caveolin regulation of cholesterol transport and consider how this may relate to signal transduction.

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