Role of Caveolae in the Airway

  • Christina M. PabelickEmail author
  • Brij B. Singh
  • Y. S. Prakash


Caveolae are flask-shaped invaginations of the plasma membrane that are rich in lipids and serve as microdomains to facilitate interactions between proteins at the membrane as well as intracellular components, thus modulating signal transduction, protein and lipid transport, and other processes. Constituent caveolar proteins such as caveolins and cavins also have scaffolding domains that anchor and regulate protein function. There is now evidence that caveolae and their constituent proteins are present in airway smooth muscle in a variety of species. Caveolae in airway cells contain or interact with molecules such as receptors, ion channels, and regulatory proteins that are key to the roles of airway epithelium and smooth muscle in regulating airway structure and function. Furthermore, caveolar protein expression and regulation appear to be important in mediating and modulating the effects of inflammation on the airway, thereby contributing to the pathophysiology of diseases such as asthma.


Caveolae Caveolin Cavin Airway 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina M. Pabelick
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Brij B. Singh
    • 3
  • Y. S. Prakash
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and Biomedical EngineeringMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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