Discoidin Domain Receptors: microenvironment sensors that promote cellular migration and invasion
Extracellular matrix (ECM) provides cells scaffolding for cell migration and microenvironment for various cellular functions. Collagens are major ECM components in tissue and discoidin domain receptors (DDRs) are receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) that recognise fibrillar collagens. Unlike other RTK, their ligands are solid ECM the that are abundantly present in the pericellular environment in various tissue, and thus its activation and regulations are unique amongst RTK family. It is emerging that DDRs may be the sensors that monitor and detects changes in ECM microenvironment and determines the cellular fates upon tissue injuries. In this mini-review, recent findings on the role of DDRs as microenvironment sensor and their roles in cell migration and invasion are discussed.