Caveolae, transmembrane signalling and cellular transformation

M. P. Lisanti, Z. Tang, P. E. Scherer, E. Kübler, A. J. Koleske, M. Sargiacomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Caveolae are -50-100 nm membrane micro-invaginations associated with the plasma membrane of a wide variety of cells. Although they were first identified in transmission electron micrographs -40 years ago, their exact function(s) has remained controversial. Two well-established functions include: (1) the transcytosis of both large and small molecules across capillary endothelial cells and (2) the utilization of GPI-linked proteins to concentrate small molecules in caveolae for translocation to the cytoplasm (termed potocytosis). Recently, interest in a 'third' proposed caveolar function, namely transmembrane signalling, has been revived by the identification of caveolin - a transformation-dependent v-Src substrate and caveolar marker protein - and the isolation of caveolin-rich membrane domains from cultured cells. Here we will discuss existing evidence that suggests a role for caveolae in signalling events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-124
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular Membrane Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Caveolae
  • Caveolin
  • G-protein signalling
  • Plasmalemmal vesicles
  • Src-like kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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