Co-ordinating Centres for Mechanotransduction in the Heart?
  • Sarah Calaghan
Part of the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues book series (MECT, volume 1)


The heart possesses the intrinsic ability to adjust to short- and long-term haemodynamic demands. These adaptive responses are dependent on the sensation of mechanical stimuli and transduction into cellular events. Recent evidence suggests that caveolae, flask-shaped invaginations of the cell membrane, may be an important part of the mechanotransductive pathway in the cardiac cell. Caveolae are ‘signalosomes’, microdomains enriched in components of signal transduction cascades, ion channels and exchangers, which are known to control some elements of cell signalling. The marker protein for caveolae, caveolin, acts as a scaffold for macromolecular signalling complexes, and can also regulate the activity of proteins with which it interacts. In this review, the morphological, biochemical and functional evidence to support a role for caveolae in mechanosensation and mechanotransduction will be presented. Although there is a paucity of direct evidence in the cardiac myocyte, the available data support the idea that caveolae are an integral part of downstream stretch-activated signalling, and that they are essential for the proper integration and co-ordination of mechanosensitive signalling pathways


Lipid rafts Caveolae Cardiac Stretch Swelling 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Calaghan

There are no affiliations available

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