Caveolin-1 and -2 constitute a framework of caveolae in nonmuscle cells. In the present study, we showed that caveolin-2, especially its β isoform, is targeted to the surface of lipid droplets (LD) by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy, and by subcellular fractionation. Brefeldin A treatment induced further accumulation of caveolin-2 along with caveolin-1 in LD. Analysis of mouse caveolin-2 deletion mutants revealed that the central hydrophobic domain (residues 87-119) and the NH2-terminal (residues 70-86) and COOH-terminal (residues 120-150) hydrophilic domains are all necessary for the localization in LD. The NH2- and COOH-terminal domains appeared to be related to membrane binding and exit from ER, respectively, implying that caveolin-2 is synthesized and transported to LD as a membrane protein. In conjunction with recent findings that LD contain unesterified cholesterol and raft proteins, the result implies that the LD surface may function as a membrane domain. It also suggests that LD is related to trafficking of lipid molecules mediated by caveolins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology