The multiple faces of caveolae

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Mar;8(3):185-94. doi: 10.1038/nrm2122.


Caveolae are a highly abundant but enigmatic feature of mammalian cells. They form remarkably stable membrane domains at the plasma membrane but can also function as carriers in the exocytic and endocytic pathways. The apparently diverse functions of caveolae, including mechanosensing and lipid regulation, might be linked to their ability to respond to plasma membrane changes, a property that is dependent on their specialized lipid composition and biophysical properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolae / metabolism*
  • Caveolins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism


  • Caveolins