Caveolin 1 (Cav-1) is a major component of the caveolae structure and is expressed in a variety of cell types including macrophages, which are susceptible to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Caveolae structures are present in abundance in mechanically stressed cells such as endothelial cells and adipocytes. HIV infection induces dysfunction of these cells and promotes pathogenesis. Cav-1 and the caveolae structure are believed to be involved in multiple cellular processes that include signal transduction, lipid regulation, endocytosis, transcytosis, and mechanoprotection. Such a broad biological role of Cav-1/caveolae is bound to have functional cross relationships with several molecular pathways including HIV replication and viral-induced pathogenesis. The current review covers the relationship of Cav-1 and HIV in respect to viral replication, persistence, and the potential role in pathogenesis.
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