DDR1 role in fibrosis and its pharmacological targeting

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2019 Nov;1866(11):118474. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.04.004. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


Discoidin domain receptor1 (DDR1) is a collagen activated receptor tyrosine kinase and an attractive anti-fibrotic target. Its expression is mainly limited to epithelial cells located in several organs including skin, kidney, liver and lung. DDR1's biology is elusive, with unknown downstream activation pathways; however, it may act as a mediator of the stromal-epithelial interaction, potentially controlling the activation state of the resident quiescent fibroblasts. Increased expression of DDR1 has been documented in several types of cancer and fibrotic conditions including skin hypertrophic scars, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cirrhotic liver and renal fibrosis. The present review article focuses on: a) detailing the evidence for a role of DDR1 as an anti-fibrotic target in different organs, b) clarifying DDR1 tissue distribution in healthy and diseased tissues as well as c) exploring DDR1 protective mode of action based on literature evidence and co-authors experience; d) detailing pharmacological efforts attempted to drug this subtle anti-fibrotic target to date.

Keywords: DDR1; Fibrosis; Kidney; Lung; Skin; Tyrosine kinase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Discoidin Domain Receptor 1 / drug effects*
  • Discoidin Domain Receptor 1 / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / pathology
  • Plasma Cells
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Wound Healing


  • Discoidin Domain Receptor 1
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases