The stabilization of cell surface E-cadherin is important for the maintenance of apical junction complexes and epithelial polarity. Previously, we reported that discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) forms a complex with E-cadherin at adhesive contacts; however, the regulatory role of DDR1 in the stabilization of cell surface E-cadherin and E-cadherin-mediated cell behaviors remained undefined. To gain insight into these questions, we utilized two stable clones depleted for DDR1 via the small interfering RNA (siRNA) technique, and we over-expressed DDR1 in MDCK cells. We performed Western blotting, immunofluorescence analysis, flow cytometry, and cell aggregation studies to investigate the effect of DDR1 on cell surface E-cadherin. The results showed that both DDR1/2 and E-cadherin use their extracellular domains to form DDR/E-cadherin complexes. Neither the depletion nor the over-expression of DDR1 changed the expression level of E-cadherin in MDCK cells. Collagen disrupted the formation of E-cadherin complexes and caused E-cadherin to accumulate in the cytoplasm; however, over-expression of DDR1 stabilized E-cadherin on the cell surface and decreased its cytoplasmic accumulation. Furthermore, independently of collagen stimulation, the depletion of DDR1 resulted in a decrease in the level of cell surface E-cadherin, which consequently caused its cytoplasmic accumulation and decreased E-cadherin-mediated cell aggregation. These results indicate that DDR1 can increase the stability of cell surface E-cadherin and promote MDCK cell aggregation, which may be mediated through the formation of DDR1/E-cadherin complexes. Overall, these findings have implications for the physiological roles of DDR1 in association with the maintenance of both the adhesion junction and epithelial polarity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology