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.