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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jan 17;278(3):1721-7. Epub 2002 Nov 9.

Angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 share the same binding domains in the Tie-2 receptor involving the first Ig-like loop and the epidermal growth factor-like repeats.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Biology and Angiogenesis Research, Tumor Biology Center, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.


Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) have been identified as ligands with different effector functions of the vascular assembly and maturation-mediating receptor tyrosine kinase Tie-2. To understand the molecular interactions of the angiopoietins with their receptor, we have studied the binding of Ang-1 and Ang-2 to the Tie-2 receptor. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based competition assays and co-immunoprecipitation experiments analyzing the binding of Ang-1 and Ang-2 to truncation mutants of the extracellular domain of Tie-2 showed that the first Ig-like loop of Tie-2 in combination with the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats (amino acids 1-360) is required for angiopoietin binding. The first Ig-like domain or the EGF-like repeats alone are not capable of binding Ang-1 and Ang-2. Concomitantly, we made the surprising finding that Tie-2 exon-2 knockout mice do express a mutated Tie-2 protein that lacks 104 amino acids of the first Ig-like domain. This mutant Tie-2 receptor is functionally inactive as shown by the lack of ligand binding and receptor phosphorylation. Collectively, the data show that the first 104 amino acids of the Tie-2 receptor are essential but not sufficient for angiopoietin binding. Conversely, the first 360 amino acids (Ig-like domain plus EGF-like repeats) of the Tie-2 receptor are necessary and sufficient to bind both Ang-1 and Ang-2, which suggests that differential receptor binding is not likely to be responsible for the different functions of Ang-1 and Ang-2.

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