Lipid rafts and caveolae and their role in compartmentation of redox signaling

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Jun;11(6):1357-72. doi: 10.1089/ars.2008.2365.


Membrane (lipid) rafts and caveolae, a subset of rafts, are cellular domains that concentrate plasma membrane proteins and lipids involved in the regulation of cell function. In addition to providing signaling platforms for G-protein-coupled receptors and certain tyrosine kinase receptors, rafts/caveolae can influence redox signaling. This review discusses molecular characteristics of and methods to study rafts/caveolae, determinants that contribute to the localization of molecules in these entities, an overview of signaling molecules that show such localization, and the contribution of rafts/caveolae to redox signaling. Of particular note is the evidence that endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), NADPH oxygenase, and heme oxygenase, along with other less well-studied redox systems, localize in rafts and caveolae. The precise basis for this localization and the contribution of raft/caveolae-localized redox components to physiology and disease are important issues for future studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolae / metabolism*
  • Caveolae / ultrastructure
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism*
  • Membrane Microdomains / ultrastructure
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Membrane Lipids