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Transgenic Res. 2014 Feb;23(1):165-75. doi: 10.1007/s11248-013-9751-2. Epub 2013 Sep 14.

Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) regulates body size and fat metabolism in mice.

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Laboratory of Applied Genetics, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan.


Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is activated by fibrillar collagens, which act as its endogenous ligand. DDR2 regulates cell proliferation, cell adhesion, migration, extracellular matrix remodeling and reproductive functions. Both DDR2 null allele mice and mice with a recessive, loss-of-function allele for Ddr2 exhibit dwarfing and a reduction in body weight. However, the detailed mechanisms by which DDR2 exerts its positive systemic regulation of whole body size, local skeletal size and fat tissue volume remain to be clarified. To investigate the systemic role of DDR2 in body size regulation, we produced transgenic mice in which the DDR2 protein is overexpressed, then screened the transgenic mice for abnormalities using systematic mouse abnormality screening. The modified-SHIPRA screen revealed that only the parameter of body size was significantly different among the genotypes. We also discovered that the body length was significantly increased, while the body weight was significantly decreased in transgenic mice compared to their littermate controls. We also found that the epididymal fat pads were significantly decreased in transgenic mice compared to normal littermate mice, which may have been the cause of the leptin decrement in the transgenic mice. The new insight that DDR2 might promote metabolism in adipocyte cells is very interesting, but more experiments will be needed to elucidate the direct relation between DDR2 and adipose-derived hormones. Taken together, our data demonstrated that DDR2 might play a systemic role in the regulation of body size thorough skeletal formation and fat metabolism.

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