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Home > B. Cellular pathology > caveolae


Monday 9 June 2003

Caveolae are small plasmalemmal vesicles of distinct, flask-shaped morphology. Caveolae are formed through the oligomerization of its structural proteins, caveolin-1 and caveolin-2, to form distinctive coat appearing as bipolar-oriented, thin striations surrounding the bulb of the caveloa.

Membrane microdomains such as caveolae are sites of signal transduction. Many cell types including fibroblasts and endothelial cells contain small flask shaped invaginations of the plasma membrane. These structures are enriched in various signaling molecules including cell surface receptors that are attached by a lipid anchor.

Caveolae are 50-100 nm invaginations of the plasma membrane. The caveolins are a family of proteins intimately involved in caveolar function.

Caveolae and caveolins are involved in a variety of cellular processes including endocytosis, lipid homeostasis, signal transduction, and tumorigenesis.


- endocytosis
- lipid homeostasis
- signal transduction
- tumorigenesis


- caveolae trafficking


- transcytosis
- endocytosis

Anomalies - Structural alterations of caveolae


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- Gumbleton M, Abulrob AG, Campbell L. Caveolae: an alternative membrane transport compartment.
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