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Dev Dyn. 1998 May;212(1):133-40.

Isolation of the zebrafish homologues for the tie-1 and tie-2 endothelium-specific receptor tyrosine kinases.

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Duke University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Several characteristics of the zebrafish embryo make it an attractive model in which to study the development of the cardiovascular system. The utility of the zebrafish as a model of mammalian vascular development will depend on the conservation of molecular and morphogenetic mechanisms of vessel growth. Here, we report the cloning of the zebrafish homologues of the endothelium-specific receptor tyrosine kinases tie-1 and tie-2. The Z tie-2 clone represents the first report of a full-length zebrafish endothelium-specific gene. The zebrafish tie family members have significant structural homology with their murine and human counterparts. In addition, like the murine tie-1 and tie-2 genes, expression was found predominantly in endothelial cells. At 24-hr postfertilization (HPF), Z tie-1 was expressed in all observed populations of endothelial cells. Interestingly, Z tie-2 exhibited a similar, although slightly more restricted, expression pattern. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that mechanisms of vascular development are highly conserved across species and that zebrafish will continue to be a useful model for the investigation of vertebrate embryonic vascular development.

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