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Title: Critical roles for Cav-1 and Cav-3 in cell signalling, mitochondrial function and cytoskeletal organization
Author: Niesman, Ingrid Reynolds
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 9512
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2014
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Caveolae, 50-75nm invaginations of the plasma membrane (PM), were originally described by the late Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist George Palade (1). They are a subset of membrane lipid rafts (MLR), microdomains of the plasmalemma highly enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. Caveolins (Cav-1, Cav-2 and Cav-3) are scaffolding and cholesterol binding proteins that localise to the inner leaflet of the PM within caveolae and insert via palmitoylated cysteine residues. Caveolins (Cavs) interact with and bind many signalling transduction proteins, such as G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling components, and also serve to modulate the cytoskeleton via tethering to actin and/or microtubules. By acting within the MLR domain, Cavs drive pro-survival pathways (p-Src, p-Akt, p-ERK), leading to protective phenotypes. I have shown Cav-1KO mice have a neurodegenerative phenotype, whilst also demonstrating viral driven increased expression of Cav-1 enhances dendritic growth in neurons. Cav-3 can increase protective or anti-apoptotic signalling events in the heart. Cav-3 overexpressing mice have increased morphological caveolae quantitated with my TEM images and have enhanced protection from injury. Cav-3KO mice, with disrupted mitochondrial and sarcomeric ultrastructure analysed by me, are at significant risk of cardiomyopathies, revealing a critical role for Cavs in protection. Using multiple and complementary techniques, new cellular functions, beyond the previously described role as protein scaffolds in signalling networks, have been uncovered for Cavs isoforms. I have discovered increased numbers of caveolae following virus-mediated transfection, preconditioning (protective) protocols and some pathological states. In contrast, I have found decreased caveolae and other pathologies associated with reduced Cavs expression. Localisation of Cavs in non-canonical cellular domains, such as mitochondria and cytoskeletal fractions, established by my LM, TEM and cell fractionation analyses, have led to the hypothesis that Cavs are critical cellular regulators. And as such, represent an attractive pharmacological target for diseases with diverse aetiologies, including cardiomyopathies, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and inflammation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biomedical Sciences ; Pharmacy and Pharmacology