Tie1 is a mechanistically poorly characterized endothelial cell (EC)-specific orphan receptor. Yet, Tie1 deletion is embryonic lethal and Tie1 has been implicated in critical vascular pathologies, including atherosclerosis and tumor angiogenesis. Here, we show that Tie1 does not function independently but exerts context-dependent effects on the related receptor Tie2. Tie1 was identified as an EC activation marker that is expressed during angiogenesis by a subset of angiogenic tip and remodeling stalk cells and downregulated in the adult quiescent vasculature. Functionally, Tie1 expression by angiogenic EC contributes to shaping the tip cell phenotype by negatively regulating Tie2 surface presentation. In contrast, Tie1 acts in remodeling stalk cells cooperatively to sustain Tie2 signaling. Collectively, our data support an interactive model of Tie1 and Tie2 function, in which dynamically regulated Tie1 versus Tie2 expression determines the net positive or negative effect of Tie1 on Tie2 signaling.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.