Tumor-extrinsic discoidin domain receptor 1 promotes mammary tumor growth by regulating adipose stromal interleukin 6 production in mice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Biological Chemistry








Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) is a collagen receptor that mediates cell communication with the extracellular matrix (ECM). Aberrant expression and activity of DDR1 in tumor cells are known to promote tumor growth. Although elevated DDR1 levels in the stroma of breast tumors are associated with poor patient outcome, a causal role for tumor-extrinsic DDR1 in cancer promotion remains unclear. Here we report that murine mammary tumor cells transplanted to syngeneic recipient mice in which Ddr1 has been knocked out (KO) grow less robustly than in WT mice. We also found that the tumor-associated stroma in Ddr1-KO mice exhibits reduced collagen deposition compared with the WT controls, supporting a role for stromal DDR1 in ECM remodeling of the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, the stromal-vascular fraction (SVF) of Ddr1 knockout adipose tissue, which contains committed adipose stem/progenitor cells and preadipocytes, was impaired in its ability to stimulate tumor cell migration and invasion. Cytokine array-based screening identified interleukin 6 (IL-6) as a cytokine secreted by the SVF in a DDR1-dependent manner. SVFproduced IL-6 is important for SVF-stimulated tumor cell invasion in vitro, and, using antibody-based neutralization, we show that tumor promotion by IL-6 in vivo requires DDR1. In conclusion, our work demonstrates a previously unrecognized function of DDR1 in promoting tumor growth.