Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) or CD167b (cluster of differentiation 167b) is a kind of protein tyrosine kinases associated with cell proliferation and tumor metastasis, and collagen, identified as a ligand for DDR2, up-regulates matrix metallloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) and MMP-2 expression in cellular matrix. DDR2/CD167b was found to recognise the triple-helical region of collagen X as well as the NC1 domain. Binding to the collagenous region was dependent on the triple-helical conformation. DDR2/CD167b autophosphorylation was induced by the collagen X triple-helical region but not the NC1 domain, indicating that the triple-helical region of collagen X contains a specific DDR2 binding site that is capable of receptor activation. DDR2/CD167b is induced during stellate cell activation and implicate the phosphorylated receptor as a mediator of MMP-2 release and growth stimulation in response to type I collagen. Moreover, type I collagen-dependent upregulation of DDR2/CD167b expression establishes a positive feedback loop in activated stellate cells, leading to further proliferation and enhanced invasive activity.
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