PerspectiveCell Biology

Life Without Caveolae

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Science  28 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5539, pp. 2404-2405
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065677

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Many mammalian cells have indentations in the plasma membrane called caveolae, but exactly what these flask-shaped pits do remains unclear. In a Perspective, Parton discusses the characteristics of caveolin-1-deficient mice that lack caveolae ( Drab et al.). The mice are fertile and seem healthy but show cardiovascular defects, suggesting that caveolae may be important in nitric oxide signaling and cellular proliferation.