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Mol Interv. 2003 Dec;3(8):445-64.

The biology of caveolae: lessons from caveolin knockout mice and implications for human disease.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Caveolae, plasma membrane invaginations that serve as membrane organizing centers, are found in most cell types, but are enriched in adipocytes, endothelial cells, and myocytes. Three members of the caveolin family (Cav-1, -2, and -3) are essential for the formation of caveolae. Specialized motifs in the caveolin proteins function to recruit lipids and proteins to caveolae for participation in intracellular trafficking of cellular components and operation in signal transduction. Mutations in the gene encoding CAV-1 are associated with the development and progression of breast cancers, whereas mutations in the CAV-3 gene result in Rippling Muscle Disease and a form of Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. The generation of caveolin-null mice has confirmed the essential role of these proteins in caveolae biogenesis and in the pathophysiology of diverse tissues. Caveolin-null mice provide new animal models for studying the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, restrictive lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, and bladder dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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