January 28, 2021

New publication from the Melanie Ohi Lab!


Highly stable oligomeric complexes of the monotopic membrane protein caveolin serve as fundamental building blocks of caveolae. Current evidence suggests these complexes are disc shaped, but the details of their structural organization and how they assemble are poorly understood. Here, we address these questions using single particle electron microscopy of negatively stained recombinant 8S complexes of human caveolin 1. We show that 8S complexes are toroidal structures ~15 nm in diameter that consist of an outer ring, an inner ring, and central protruding stalk. Moreover, we map the position of the N and C termini and determine their role in complex assembly, and visualize the 8S complexes in heterologous caveolae. Our findings provide critical insights into the structural features of 8S complexes and allow us to propose a model for how these highly stable membrane-embedded complexes are generated.