Maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) is critical for their ability to stimulate resting naive T cells in primary immune responses. Previous studies demonstrated that collagen, such as type I collagen, could facilitate DC maturation; however, the basis of collagen-mediated DC maturation remains unclear. Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) is a nonintegrin collagen receptor constitutively expressed in a variety of epithelial cells, including tumor cells, and is inducible in leukocytes. In this study, we evaluated the role of DDR1 in DC maturation using human monocyte-derived DCs. Two DDR1 isoforms, DDR1a and DDR1b, were expressed in both immature and mature DCs. Activation of DDR1 on immature DCs resulted in their partial maturation; however, DDR1 activation markedly amplified TNF-α- and LPS-induced phenotypic and functional maturation of DCs through activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), suggesting the involvement of DDR1b in this process. Activation of DDR1b on differentiated DDR1b-overexpressing THP-1 cells or DDR1 on mature DCs induced the formation of TNFR associated factor 6 (TRAF6)/TGF-β-activated kinase 1 binding protein 1β/p38α MAPK complex and p38α autophosphorylation. Transfection of differentiated DDR1b-overexpressing THP-1 cells with dominant negative TRAF6 completely abrogated DDR1b-mediated p38 MAPK phosphorylation, indicating a critical role of TRAF6 in DDR1b-mediated p38 MAPK activation. Taken together, our data suggest that DDR1b-collagen interaction augments the maturation of DCs in a tissue microenvironment through a unique TRAF6/TGF-β-activated kinase 1 binding protein 1β/p38α MAPK signaling cascade and contributes to the development of adaptive immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy