Purpose: Caveolae are non-clathrin, flask-shaped invaginations of the plasma membrane. Caveolin-1 is an essential constituent of caveolae and as such acts as a regulator of caveolae-dependent lipid trafficking and endocytosis. Caveolin-1 interacts with a variety of cellular proteins and regulates cell-signaling events. Caveolin-1 appears to act as a tumor suppressor protein at early stages of cancer progression. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that caveolin-1 is up-regulated in several multidrug-resistant and metastatic cancer cell lines and human tumor specimens. Furthermore, caveolin-1 levels are positively correlated with tumor stage and grade in numerous cancer types.
Conclusion: The available experimental data support the tumor-promoting role of caveolin-1 in advanced-stage cancer.