Discoidin domain receptor 1 activity drives an aggressive phenotype in gastric carcinoma

Hoon Hur, In Hye Ham, Dakeun Lee, Hyejin Jin, Kristina Y. Aguilera, Hye Jeong Oh, Sang Uk Han, Ji Eun Kwon, Young Bae Kim, Ke Ding, Rolf A. Brekken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1), a receptor tyrosine kinase that utilizes collagen as a ligand, is a key molecule in the progression of solid tumors as it regulates the interaction of cancer cells with the tumor stroma. However, the clinical relevance of DDR1 expression in gastric carcinoma is yet to be investigated. Here, we assessed the role of DDR1 in mediating the aggressive phenotype of gastric carcinoma and its potential as a therapeutic target. Methods: We conducted DDR1 immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray of 202 gastric carcinoma specimens. We examined the effect of collagen-induced activation of DDR1 on cell signaling, tumorigenesis, and cell migration in gastric cancer cell lines, and tumor growth in a xenograft animal model of gastric cancer. Results: Our results showed that 50.5% of gastric cancer tissues are positive for DDR1 expression, and positive DDR1 expression was significantly correlated with a poor prognosis (P = 0.015). In a subgroup analysis, DDR1 expression was prognostically meaningful only in patients receiving adjuvant treatment (P = 0.013). We also demonstrated that collagen was able to activate DDR1 and increase the clonogenicity and migration of gastric cancer cells. We observed that a DDR1 inhibitor, 7rh benzamide, suppressed tumor growth in gastric cancer xenografts. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a key role for DDR1 signaling in mediating the aggressive phenotype of gastric carcinoma. Importantly, inhibition of DDR1 is an attractive strategy for gastric carcinoma therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number87
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2017


  • Cancer stroma
  • Discoidin domain receptor 1
  • Gastric carcinoma
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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