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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 15;276(24):21425-33. Epub 2001 Mar 19.

Caveolin-3 null mice show a loss of caveolae, changes in the microdomain distribution of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, and t-tubule abnormalities.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.


Caveolin-3, a muscle-specific caveolin-related protein, is the principal structural protein of caveolae membrane domains in striated muscle cells. Recently, we identified a novel autosomal dominant form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD-1C) in humans that is due to mutations within the coding sequence of the human caveolin-3 gene (3p25). These LGMD-1C mutations lead to an approximately 95% reduction in caveolin-3 protein expression, i.e. a caveolin-3 deficiency. Here, we created a caveolin-3 null (CAV3 -/-) mouse model, using standard homologous recombination techniques, to mimic a caveolin-3 deficiency. We show that these mice lack caveolin-3 protein expression and sarcolemmal caveolae membranes. In addition, analysis of skeletal muscle tissue from these caveolin-3 null mice reveals: (i) mild myopathic changes; (ii) an exclusion of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex from lipid raft domains; and (iii) abnormalities in the organization of the T-tubule system, with dilated and longitudinally oriented T-tubules. These results have clear mechanistic implications for understanding the pathogenesis of LGMD-1C at a molecular level.

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