Overexpression of the receptor tyrosine kinase tie-1 intracellular domain in breast cancer

Xi Hui Yang, Randal A. Hand, Chad A. Livasy, William G. Cance, Rolf J. Craven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin and epidermal growth factor homology domains (Tie-1) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that regulates angiogenesis and antiapoptotic survival signaling. Tie-1 expression is generally associated with endothelial cells and neovascularization. We previously identified Tie-1 in human breast tumor samples using a PCR-based screen for protein kinases expressed in breast tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine the cell types expressing Tie-1, whether Tie-1 is expressed in tumor cells, and to examine the regulation of Tie-1 in breast cancer. Methods: Tie-1 expression was analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry using an antibody to the carboxy terminus of Tie-1. Tie-1 expression was determined in a variety of cancer cell lines, clinical breast and colon tumor samples, and in corresponding benign tissue from the same patient. Tie-1 expression and distribution in breast tumors was scored by immunohistochemistry. Results: Tie-1 was overexpressed in 14/23 breast tumors compared with 0/9 corresponding normal tissues from the same patients. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Tie-1 was overexpressed in epithelial breast cancer cells and ductal carcinoma in situ. In all breast tumor samples, Tie-1 was expressed as a truncated 40- to 43-kD doublet consisting of the intracellular portion of the protein, which contains the tyrosine kinase catalytic domain. The 40- to 43-kD Tie-1 doublet was expressed in a broad variety of cell lines. Conclusions: We have shown that breast cancer cells overexpress a cleaved form of the Tie-1 protein. Our results implicate the intracellular domain of Tie-1, which includes the catalytic kinase domain, in breast cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Epithelial gene expression
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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