Main features of caveolae and caveolins

Main features of caveolae and caveolins - a...

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Main features of caveolae and caveolins. The electron micrographs in panels a and b show caveolae in adipocytes that have been surface- labelled with an electron-dense marker. Panel c shows a glancing section across the cell surface of a primary fibroblast that has been similarly labelled. Caveolae are evident as discrete flask-shaped pits, or circular profiles where the surface connection lies outside the plane of the section. Note the complex forms of surface-connected caveolae in the adipocytes (panels a and b), and the incredible abundance of caveolae in specific regions of the fibroblast surface (panel c). Panel d indicates how caveolin is inserted into the caveolar membrane, with the N and C termini facing the cytoplasm and
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Unformatted text preview: a putative 'hairpin' intramembrane domain embedded within the membrane bilayer. The scaffolding domain, a highly conserved region of caveolin, might have a role in cholesterol interactions through conserved basic (+) and bulky hydrophobic residues (red circles). The C-terminal domain, which is close to the intramembrane domain, is modified by palmitoyl groups that insert into the lipid bilayer. The complex structures that are formed by interconnected caveolae can occupy a large area of the plasma membrane. The hypothetical formation of cubic membranes (panel e), which have adapted to allow the invagination of numerous caveolae, is depicted schematicall. These membrane invaginations can form with little energy input....
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