The Caveolar-Mitochondrial Interface: Regulation of Cellular Metabolism in Physiology and Pathophysiology

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The plasma membrane is an important cellular organelle that is often overlooked in terms of a primary factor in regulating physiology and pathophysiology. There is emerging evidence to suggest that the plasma membrane serves a greater purpose than a simple barrier or transporter of ions. New paradigms suggest that the membrane serves as a critical bridge to connect extracellular to intracellular communication particularly to regulate energy and metabolism by forming physical and biochemical associations with intracellular organelles. This review will focus on the relationship of a particular membrane microdomain - caveolae - with mitochondria and the particular implication of this to physiology and pathophysiology.