Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;82(1):129-44.

Caveolins, caveolae, and lipid rafts in cellular transport, signaling, and disease.

Author information

Centro FONDAP de Estudios Molecualrs de la Célula, Programa de Biología Celular y Molecular, Universidad de Chile, Indepencia 1027, Santiago, Chile.


Caveolae were initially described some 50 years ago. For many decades, they remained predominantly of interest to structural biologists. The identification of a molecular marker for these domains, caveolin, combined with the possibility to isolate such cholesterol- and sphingolipid-rich regions as detergent-insoluble membrane complexes paved the way to more rigorous characterization of composition, regulation, and function. Experiments with knock-out mice for the caveolin genes clearly demonstrate the importance of caveolin-1 and -3 in formation of caveolae. Nonetheless, detergent-insoluble domains are also found in cells lacking caveolin expression and are referred to here as lipid rafts. Caveolae and lipid rafts were shown to represent membrane compartments enriched in a large number of signaling molecules whose structural integrity is essential for many signaling processes. Caveolin-1 is an essential structural component of cell surface caveolae, important for regulating trafficking and mobility of these vesicles. In addition, caveolin-1 is found at many other intracellular locations. Variations in subcellular localization are paralleled by a plethora of ascribed functions for this protein. Here, more recent data addressing the role of caveolin-1 in cellular signaling and the development of diseases like cancer will be preferentially discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center