Caveolae are small, specialized areas of the plasma membrane. These organelles are involved in sequestering a variety of protein and lipid molecules. Three caveolin proteins (caveolin-1, caveolin-2, and caveolin-3) are the primary components of caveolae, but their distribution varies with tissue type.
Caveolins 1 and 2 have similar expression in fibroblasts, differentiated adipocytes, endothelial cells, and smooth and skeletal muscle. Caveolin-3 appears to be expressed only in muscle tissues. When internalized, caveolae can fuse with early endosomes, which then may be recycled back to the plasma membrane or sent on for degradation.
Caveolae are involved in many important biological functions including lipid metabolism, vesicular trafficking, signal transduction, endocytosis, exocytosis, cell adhesion, and apoptosis. They also play a role in neurodegenerative disease, oncogenesis, and the uptake of some viruses and pathogenic bacteria.
Caveolae marker antibodies detect proteins specific to the caveolae and can aid in the study of the structure and function of the caveolae. Caveolae marker antibodies can also help elucidate the role or roles a protein may play in a number of tasks that are centered in or influenced by the caveolae. Quality Invitrogen caveolae marker antibodies are available for a variety of research needs.