The Journal of biological chemistry

Super-resolution Visualization of Caveola Deformation in Response to Osmotic Stress.

PMID 28096469


Caveolae are protein-dense plasma membrane domains structurally composed of caveolin-1 or -3 along with other proteins. Our previous studies have shown that caveolae enhance calcium signals generated through the Gαq/phospholipase Cβ signaling pathway and that subjecting cells to hypo-osmotic stress reverses this enhancement. In this study, we have used super-resolution fluorescence microscopy supplemented by fluorescence correlation studies to determine the structural factors that underlie this behavior. We find similar and significant population of Gαq and one of its receptors, bradykinin type 2 receptor (B2R), as well as a significant population of Gαi and its coupled β2-adrenergic receptor (βAR), are localized to caveola domains. Although mild osmotic stress deforms caveolae and alters interactions between the caveolae and these proteins, the general structure and the localization of caveola components remain largely unchanged. This deformation eliminates the ability of caveolae to stabilize calcium signals mediated through Gαq-B2R, but does not affect cAMP signals mediated through Gαi and βAR. Structurally, we find that mild osmotic stress corresponding roughly to a pressure of 3.82 newtons/m(2) increases the domain diameter by ∼30% and increases the fluorescence intensity in the center of the domain mouth suggesting a flattening of the invagination. Approximate calculations show that caveolae in muscle tissue have the strength to handle the stress of muscle movement.