Angiopoietin-2 (ANG 2, or ANGPT2), is a member of the ANG family, which plays an important role in angiogenesis during the development and growth of human cancers. Both ANGPT-1 and ANGPT-2 appear to bind to the tyrosine kinase receptor, Tie-2, found primarily on the luminal surface of endothelial cells. ANG-2's role in angiogenesis generally is considered as an antagonist for ANG1, inhibiting ANG1-promoted Tie2 signaling, which is critical for blood vessel maturation and stabilization. ANG-2 modulates angiogenesis in a cooperative manner with another important angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor A. Genetic studies have revealed that ANG-2 also is critical in lymphangiogenesis during development. ANG-2 has multiple physiologic effects that regulate vascular tone, hormone secretion, tissue growth and neural activity. Several reports indicate that ANG-2 can induce neovascularization in experimental systems due to the expression of different growth factors such as angiopoietin 2, vascular endothelial factor, and its receptor, fibroblast growth factor, platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor beta and epidermal growth factor. In addition, ANG-2 is strongly expressed in the vasculature of many tumors and it has been suggested that ANG-2 may act synergistically with other cytokines such as vascular endothelial growth factor to promote tumor-associated Angiogenesis and tumor progression.
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