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Overexpression of DDR2 contributes to cell invasion and migration in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.


ABSTRACT: Background Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a unique receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that is activated by fibrillar collagens. Although DDR2 contributes to the metastasis of some tumors, its role in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression level, clinical and pathological significance, and biologic function of DDR2 in HNSCC. Methods Real-time quantitative PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemical staining were employed to assess the expression levels of DDR2 in HNSCC specimens. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of DDR2 was used to evaluate its consequences on cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and the process of hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Then nude mouse xenograft and tail vein metastasis models were utilized to validate the in vitro results. Results DDR2 was highly expressed in high grade HNSCC tissues and lowly expressed in low grade HNSCC tissues, but absent or rarely expressed in cancer-associated normal tissues. Both the frequency and expression intensity of DDR2 were significantly associated with tumor pathologic stage and lymph node metastasis. In vitro, DDR2 overexpression in HNSCC cells failed to alter cell proliferation but markedly accelerates cell invasion and migration as well as hypoxia-induced EMT. In vivo, elevated expression of DDR2 speeds up the metastasis of HNSCC cells to the lung. Conclusion DDR2 plays an important role in HNSCC metastasis, and might be a promising target for future therapies in this type of cancer.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4026084 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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