Laura Sotodosos-Alonso, Marta Pulgarín-Alfaro and Miguel A. del Pozo.
Abstract: The plasma membrane (PM) is subjected to multiple mechanical forces, and it must adapt and respond to them. PM invaginations named caveolae, with a specific protein and lipid composition, play a crucial role in this mechanosensing and mechanotransduction process. They respond to PM tension changes by flattening, contributing to the buffering of high-range increases in mechanical tension, while novel structures termed dolines, sharing Caveolin1 as the main component, gradually respond to low and medium forces. Caveolae are associated with different types of cytoskeletal filaments, which regulate membrane tension and also initiate multiple mechanotransduction pathways. Caveolar components sense the mechanical properties of the substrate and orchestrate responses that modify the extracellular matrix (ECM) according to these stimuli. They perform this function through both physical remodeling of ECM, where the actin cytoskeleton is a central player, and via the chemical alteration of the ECM composition by exosome deposition. Here, we review mechanotransduction regulation mediated by caveolae and caveolar components, focusing on how mechanical cues are transmitted through the cellular cytoskeleton and how caveolae respond and remodel the ECM.
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