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Keywords:

  • Caveolae;
  • Cholera toxin;
  • endocytosis;
  • receptor cross-linking;
  • virus

The role of caveolae in endocytosis is hotly debated. Here, we argue that most caveolae are stable microdomains at the cell surface. Only a small fraction of caveolae is constitutively internalized, leading to a quantitatively minor uptake of ligands and receptors. In addition, we suggest that a more pronounced downregulation of caveolae from the plasma membrane can occur, presumably stimulated by receptor cross-linking and clustering in caveolae. Finally, we propose that future studies dealing with internalization of caveolae should actually document such internalization and include kinetic data.