TIE-1 (tyrosine kinase with Ig and EGF homology domains 1) and TIE-2/Tek comprise a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) subfamily with unique structural characteristics: two immunoglobulin-like domains flanking three epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domains and followed by three fibronectin type III-like repeats in the extracellular region and a split tyrosine kinase domain in the cytoplasmic region. These receptors are expressed primarily on endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells and play critical roles in angiogenesis, vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis. Human TIE-1 cDNA encodes a 1122 amino acid (aa) residue precursor protein with an 18 residue putative signal peptide, a 726 residue extracellular domain and a 353 residue cytoplasmic domain. Two ligands, angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), which bind TIE-2 with high-affinity have been identified. Ang2 has been reported to act as an antagonist for Ang1. Mice engineered to overexpress Ang2 or to lack Ang1 or Tie-1 display similar angiogenic defects.
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