Introduction: Flask-shaped plasma membrane (PM) invaginations called caveolae and their constitutive caveolin and cavin proteins regulate cellular function via plasma membrane and intracellular signal transduction pathways. Caveolae are present in a variety of cells in the lung including airway smooth muscle (ASM) where they interact with other proteins, receptors, and ion channels and thereby have the potential to affect both normal and disease processes such as inflammation, contractility, and fibrosis. Given their involvement in cell signaling, caveolae may play important roles in mediating and modulating aging processes, and contribute to lung diseases of aging. Areas covered: This review provides a broad overview of the current state of knowledge regarding caveolae and their constituent proteins in lung diseases in the elderly and identifies potential mechanisms that can be targeted for future therapies. Expert Commentary: Caveolin-1 may play a protective role in lung disease. What is less clear is whether altered caveolin-1 with aging is a natural process, or a biomarker of disease progression in the elderly.
- lung disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health