cav-p60 expression in rat muscle tissues
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Caveolae are plasmalemmal invaginations of uncertain function. In view of the large number of hypotheses on caveolar functions, it is important to identify which components of caveolae are tissue specific and which are general. The only well-characterized major protein of caveolae is caveolin, which exists in three tissue-specific isoforms: caveolin-1, -2, and -3. Recently cav-p60 was characterized as a 60-kDa caveola-specific protein in adipocytes. The distributions of cav-p60 and caveolin isoforms in different rat muscle tissues were examined by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. Cav-p60 was present in caveolae of skeletal and heart muscle, in vascular and intestinal smooth muscle, and in adipocyte caveolae. Furthermore cav-p60 was present in endothelial cells and cells of perineural sheaths. Caveolin-1 and -2 were present in adipocytes, endothelial cells, and cells of perineural sheaths. In all kinds of vascular and intestinal smooth muscle, caveolin-1 and -2 were present at high levels, whereas caveolin-3 expression was low or undetectable, depending on the specific smooth muscle subtype. High levels of caveolin-3 were found only in caveolae and T tubules of skeletal and heart muscle. We conclude that cav-p60 is a highly specific marker of caveolae in many if not all cell types having caveolae.
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