PerspectiveCell Biology

Caveolae--Not Just Craters in the Cellular Landscape

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1447-1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.1061079

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Summary

Caveolae are small invaginations in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells that seem to be important for signal transduction and uptake of macromolecules. According to Shin and Abraham in their Perspective, recent work reveals that these cellular craters have been commandeered by pathogens and bacterial toxins, enabling them to gain entry to host cells while avoiding the perils of classic endocytosis and the lysosomal degradation pathway.