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Title: Architecture of the caveolar coat complex
Authors: Ludwig, Alexander
Nichols, Benjamin James
Sandin, Sara
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Ludwig, A., Nichols, B. J., & Sandin, S. (2016). Architecture of the caveolar coat complex. Journal of Cell Science, 129(16), 3077-3083. doi:10.1242/jcs.191262
Journal: Journal of Cell Science
Abstract: Caveolae are specialized membrane domains that are crucial for the correct function of endothelial cells, adipocytes and muscle cells. Caveolins and cavins are both required for caveolae formation, and assemble into a large (80S) caveolar coat complex (80S-CCC). The architecture of the 80S-CCC, however, has not been analyzed. Here, we study the 80S-CCC isolated from mammalian cells using negative stain electron microscopy and 3D cryo-electron tomography. We show that the 80S-CCC is a hollow sphere with a diameter of 50-80 nm, and so has the same size and shape as individual caveolar bulbs. This provides strong evidence that the distinctive membrane shape of caveolae is generated by the shape of the 80S-CCC itself. The particle appears to be made up of two layers, an inner coat composed of polygonal units of caveolins that form a polyhedral cage, and an outer filamentous coat composed of cavins. The data suggest that the peripheral cavin coat is aligned along the edges of the inner polyhedral cage, thereby providing a mechanism for the generation of a morphologically stable caveolar coat.
ISSN: 0021-9533
DOI: 10.1242/jcs.191262
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Organisations: NTU Institute of Structural Biology
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s) (published by The Company of Biologists Ltd). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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