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The Molecular Balance between Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Tie1 and Tie2 Is Dynamically Controlled by VEGF and TNFα and Regulates Angiopoietin Signalling

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posted on 24.10.2012, 08:55 by H. Singh, T. M. Hansen, N. Patel, N. P. J. Brindle
Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) signals via the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 which exists in complex with the related protein Tie1 at the endothelial cell surface. Tie1 undergoes regulated ectodomain cleavage in response to phorbol esters, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Recently phorbol esters and VEGF were found also to stimulate ectodomain cleavage of Tie2. Here we investigate for the first time the effects of factors activating ectodomain cleavage on both Tie1 and Tie2 within the same population of cells, and their impact on angiopoietin signalling. We find that phorbol ester and VEGF activated Tie1 cleavage within minutes followed by restoration to control levels by 24 h. However, several hours of PMA and VEGF treatment were needed to elicit a detectable decrease in cellular Tie2, with complete loss seen at 24 h of PMA treatment. TNFα stimulated Tie1 cleavage, and induced a sustained decrease in cellular Tie1 over 24 h whilst increasing cellular Tie2. These differential effects of agonists on Tie1 and Tie2 result in dynamic modulation of the cellular Tie2:Tie1 ratio. To assess the impact of this on Ang1 signalling cells were stimulated with VEGF and TNFα for differing times and Ang1-induced Tie2 phosphorylation examined. Elevated Tie2:Tie1, in response to acute VEGF treatment or chronic TNFα, was associated with increased Ang1-activated Tie2 in cells. These data demonstrate cellular levels of Tie1 and Tie2 are differentially regulated by pathophysiologically relevant agonists resulting in dynamic control of the cellular Tie2:Tie1 balance and modulation of Ang1 signalling. These findings highlight the importance of regulation of signalling at the level of the receptor. Such control may be an important adaptation to allow modulation of cellular signalling responses in systems in which the activating ligand is normally present in excess or where the ligand provides a constitutive maintenance signal.



PLOS ONE, 2012, 7 (1), e29319


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