The role of caveolae and caveolin in vesicle-dependent and vesicle-independent trafficking

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2001 Jul 28;49(3):237-50. doi: 10.1016/s0169-409x(01)00138-7.


Caveolae can mediate endocytosis, transcytosis, and potocytosis. Our understanding of these processes as well as the elucidation of the molecular machinery involved has greatly expanded. In addition, caveolin, a 22 kDa protein often associated with caveolae, can promote the trafficking of sterol through the cytoplasm independent of vesicles. Caveolin also influences the formation, morphology, and function of caveolae. The ability of caveolae and caveolin to mediate macromolecular transport directly impacts a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active / physiology
  • Caveolae / physiology*
  • Caveolins / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Humans


  • Caveolins