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Loss of Caveolae, Vascular Dysfunction, and Pulmonary Defects in Caveolin-1 Gene-Disrupted Mice

Science  28 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5539, pp. 2449-2452
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062688

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Abstract

Caveolae are plasma membrane invaginations that may play an important role in numerous cellular processes including transport, signaling, and tumor suppression. By targeted disruption of caveolin-1, the main protein component of caveolae, we generated mice that lacked caveolae. The absence of this organelle impaired nitric oxide and calcium signaling in the cardiovascular system, causing aberrations in endothelium-dependent relaxation, contractility, and maintenance of myogenic tone. In addition, the lungs of knockout animals displayed thickening of alveolar septa caused by uncontrolled endothelial cell proliferation and fibrosis, resulting in severe physical limitations in caveolin-1–disrupted mice. Thus, caveolin-1 and caveolae play a fundamental role in organizing multiple signaling pathways in the cell.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kurzchalia{at}mpi-cbg.de

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