Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2010, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (2): 119-124.doi: 10.1016/S1001-9294(10)60034-X

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Second Protein Marker of Caveolae: Caveolin-2

Liu-luan Zhu, Ying Cui, Yong-sheng Chang*, and Fu-de Fang*   

  1. National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College,Beijing 100005, China
  • Received:2010-05-05 Online:2010-06-10 Published:2010-06-10
  • About author:Yong-sheng Chang Tel: 86-10-65296424, E-mail:;Fu-de Fang Tel: 86-10-65253005, E-mail:

Abstract: Caveolin-2, a protein about 20 kD, is a major component of the inner surface of caveolae, small invaginations of the plasma membrane. Similar with caveolin-1 and caveolin-3, it serves as a protein marker of caveolae. Caveolin-1 and -2 are located next to each other at 7q31.1 on human chromosome, the proteins encoded are co-localized and form a stable hetero-oligomeric complex, distributing similarly in tissue and cultured cells. Caveolin-3 is located on different chromosomes but confirmed to interact with caveolin-2. Caveolin-2 is similar to caveolin-1 in many respects but differs from the latter in functional domains, especially in G-protein binding domain and caveolin scaffolding domain. The mRNAs of both caveolin-1 and caveolin-2 are most abundantly expressed in white adipose tissue and are induced during differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells to adipocytes. Caveolin-2-deficinet mice demonstrate clear pulmonary defects, with little or no change in caveolin-1 expression and caveolae formation, suggesting that caveolin-2 plays a selective role in lung functions. Caveolin-2 is also involved in lipid metabolism and human cancers.

Key words: caveolin-2, lung, lipid metabolism, cancer


Supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2004CB518602, 2006CB503909) and National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program) (2009AA02Z192)

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