Cells Respond to Mechanical Stress by Rapid Disassembly of Caveolae

Cell. 2011 Feb 4;144(3):402-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.12.031.

Abstract

The functions of caveolae, the characteristic plasma membrane invaginations, remain debated. Their abundance in cells experiencing mechanical stress led us to investigate their role in membrane-mediated mechanical response. Acute mechanical stress induced by osmotic swelling or by uniaxial stretching results in a rapid disappearance of caveolae, in a reduced caveolin/Cavin1 interaction, and in an increase of free caveolins at the plasma membrane. Tether-pulling force measurements in cells and in plasma membrane spheres demonstrate that caveola flattening and disassembly is the primary actin- and ATP-independent cell response that buffers membrane tension surges during mechanical stress. Conversely, stress release leads to complete caveola reassembly in an actin- and ATP-dependent process. The absence of a functional caveola reservoir in myotubes from muscular dystrophic patients enhanced membrane fragility under mechanical stress. Our findings support a new role for caveolae as a physiological membrane reservoir that quickly accommodates sudden and acute mechanical stresses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / physiology
  • Animals
  • Caveolae / physiology*
  • Caveolae / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle Cells / cytology
  • Muscle Cells / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical

Substances

  • Actins
  • Adenosine Triphosphate