Caveolae and Cancer, The controversial role of caveolin-1
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More than fifty years ago caveolae were discovered and marked as a new endocytic mechanism. Later it was found that they are formed in microdomains of the plasma membrane, called lipid rafts. The caveolar endocytotic route is known to transport several molecules like, membrane components and growth receptors into the cell. The main functional components of caveolae are the caveolins, caveolin-1, caveolin-2 and caveolin-3. These proteins are not only necessary for caveolae formation and dynamics, but are also involved in the regulation of several signaling molecules. Caveolae may play a role in tumorigenesis. In this thesis we aim to discuss the recent progress in our understanding of the role of caveolins in cancer. Caveolin-1 is known to act as both, a tumor suppressor and an onco-protein, here we will explain how this difference is established.