Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.304, No.2, 399-404, 2003
Shear stress activates Tie2 receptor tyrosine kinase in human endothelial cells
The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) Tie2 is expressed predominantly on endothelial cells. Tie2 is critical for vasculogenesis during development and could be important for maintaining endothelial cell survival and integrity in adult blood vessels. Although most RTKs are activated by shear stress in the absence of ligand activation, the effect of shear stress on Tie2 is unknown. Therefore, we examined the effect of shear stress on Tie2 phosphorylation in primary cultured endothelial cells. Interestingly, shear stress (20 dyne/cm(2)) produced a rapid, marked, and sustained Tie2 phosphorylation, while it produced a rapid but slight and transient phosphorylation of insulin receptor and VEGF receptor 2 (Flk1). In addition, Tie2 phosphorylation in response to shear stress was velocity-dependent, while phosphorylation of insulin receptor and Flk1 was not. Shear stress also produced Akt phosphorylation in a time-, velocity-, and PI 3-kinase-dependent manner. Accordingly, shear stress suppressed serum deprivation-induced endothelial cell apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicated that activation of Tie2/PI 3-kinase/Akt in response to shear stress could be an important signaling cascade for maintaining endothelial survival and integrity in blood vessels. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.