Epithelial cell differentiation is a critical element in the development and progression of disease, and the assembly of adherens junctions is the limiting step that determines epithelial cell differentiation. Signals from the microenvironment, including growth factors, cytokines, or the extracellular matrix, all have a significant impact on the assembly of adherens junctions. An increase of collagen deposition is no longer considered to be a consequence, but rather an inducer of disease progression, as the signal from integrin a2β1 mediates epithelial dedifferentiation via disturbing the stability of adherens junctions. However, as a collagen receptor, discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) exhibits counter effects in regulating epithelial cell differentiation. This is due to the ability of DDR1 to maintain the stability of adherens junctions. The evidence and mechanisms whereby DDR1 regulates epithelial cell differentiation will all be addressed in this chapter.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes