Gangliosides and β1-integrin are required for caveolae and membrane domains

Raman Deep Singh, David L. Marks, Eileen L. Holicky, Christine L. Wheatley, Tatiana Kaptzan, Satoshi B. Sato, Toshihide Kobayashi, Kun Ling, Richard E. Pagano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Caveolae are plasma membrane domains involved in the uptake of certain pathogens and toxins. Internalization of some cell surface integrins occurs via caveolae suggesting caveolae may play a crucial role in modulating integrin-mediated adhesion and cell migration. Here we demonstrate a critical role for gangliosides (sialo-glycosphingolipids) in regulating caveolar endocytosis in human skin fibroblasts. Pretreatment of cells with endoglycoceramidase (cleaves glycosphingolipids) or sialidase (modifies cell surface gangliosides and glycoproteins) selectively inhibited caveolar endocytosis by >70%, inhibited the formation of plasma membrane domains enriched in sphingolipids and cholesterol ('lipid rafts'), reduced caveolae and caveolin-1 at the plasma membrane by approximately 80%, and blunted activation of β1-integrin, a protein required for caveolar endocytosis in these cells. These effects could be reversed by a brief incubation with gangliosides (but not with asialo-gangliosides or other sphingolipids) at 10°C, suggesting that sialo-lipids are critical in supporting caveolar endocytosis. Endoglycoceramidase treatment also caused a redistribution of focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, talin, and PIP Kinase Iγ away from focal adhesions. The effects of sialidase or endoglycoceramidase on membrane domains and the distribution of caveolin-1 could be recapitulated by β1-integrin knockdown. These results suggest that both gangliosides and β1-integrin are required for maintenance of caveolae and plasma membrane domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Caveolar endocytosis
  • Caveolin-1
  • Endoglycoceramidase
  • Focal adhesions
  • Glycosphingolipids
  • Sialidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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