Endocytosis via caveolae: alternative pathway with distinct cellular compartments to avoid lysosomal degradation?

J Cell Mol Med. 2009 Jul;13(7):1228-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2009.00754.x. Epub 2009 Mar 27.


Endocytosis--the uptake of extracellular ligands, soluble molecules, protein and lipids from the extracellular surface--is a vital process, comprising multiple mechanisms, including phagocytosis, macropinocytosis, clathrin-dependent and clathrin-independent uptake such as caveolae-mediated and non-caveolar raft-dependent endocytosis. The best-studied endocytotic pathway for internalizing both bulk membrane and specific proteins is the clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Although many papers were published about the caveolar endocytosis, it is still not known whether it represents an alternative pathway with distinct cellular compartments to avoid lysosomal degradation or ligands taken up by caveolae can also be targeted to late endosomes/lysosomes. In this paper, we summarize data available about caveolar endocytosis. We are especially focussing on the intracellular route of caveolae and providing data supporting that caveolar endocytosis can join to the classical endocytotic pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolae / metabolism*
  • Caveolae / ultrastructure
  • Cell Compartmentation*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / ultrastructure