Caveolae

From Academic Kids

In biology, caveolae (Latin for little caves) are small invaginations of the plasma membrane in many cell types, especially in endothelial cells. Some cell types, like neurons, completely lack caveolae.

These flask-shaped structures are rich in proteins and lipids and are used for several functions in signal transduction (Anderson, 1998 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9759488&dopt=Abstract)). They are also believed to play a role in endocytosis, oncogenesis, and the uptake of pathogenic bacteria.

The formation and maintenance of caveolae is primarily due to the protein caveolin.

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