Involvement of caveolae and caveolae-like domains in signalling, cell survival and angiogenesis

Maria Lina Massimino, Cristiana Griffoni, Enzo Spisni, Mattia Toni, Vittorio Tomasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Caveolae, the flask-shaped membrane invaginations abundant in endothelial cells, have acquired a prominent role in signal transduction. Evidence, that events occurring in caveolae participate in cell survival and angiogenesis, has been recently substantiated by the identification of two novel caveolar constituents: prostacyclin synthase (PGIS) and the cellular form of prion protein (PrPc). We have shown that PGIS, previously described as an endoplasmic reticulum component, is bound to caveolin-1 (cav-1) and localized in caveolae in human endothelial cells. By generating prostacyclin, PGIS is involved in angiogenesis. Previous observations regarding the localization of PrPc in caveolae-like membrane domains (CLDs) have been recently confirmed and extended. It has been demonstrated that PrPc is bound to cav-1 and, by recruiting Fyn kinase, can participate in signal transduction events connected to cell survival and differentiation. The new entries of PGIS and PrPc in caveolar components place caveolae and CLDs at the centre of a network, where cells decide whether to proliferate or differentiate and whether to survive or to suicide by apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Angiogenesis
  • Caveolin
  • Prion protein
  • Prostacyclin synthase
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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