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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Oct;24(10):1803-9. Epub 2004 Jul 29.

Expression of angiopoietin-2 in endothelial cells is controlled by positive and negative regulatory promoter elements.

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



Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is a non-signal transducing ligand of the endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase Tie-2. Ang-2 is produced by endothelial cells and acts as an autocrine regulator mediating vascular destabilization by inhibiting Angiopoietin-1-mediated Tie-2 activation. To examine the transcriptional regulation of Ang-2, we studied the Ang-2 promoter in endothelial cells and nonendothelial cells.


The human Ang-2 promoter contains a 585-bp region around the transcriptional start site (-109 to +476) that is sufficient to control endothelial cell-specific and cytokine-dependent Ang-2 expression. Strong repressor elements of Ang-2-promoter activity are located in the 5'-region of the promoter and in the first intron. The Ets family transcription factors Ets-1 and Elf-1 act as strong enhancers of endothelial cell Ang-2-promoter activity. Ets-binding sites -4 and -7 act as positive regulators, whereas Ets-binding site -3 acts as negative regulator. Demethylation experiments revealed that the Ang-2 gene (in contrast to the Tie-2 gene) is not controlled by imprinting.


The data determine unique positive and negative regulatory mechanisms of endothelial cell Ang-2 expression and provide further evidence for the critical role of Ang-2 as a key autocrine regulator of vascular stability and responsiveness.

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