Angiopoietins are proteins with important roles in vascular development and angiogenesis. All angiopoietins bind with similar affinity to an endothelial cell-specific tyrosine-protein kinase receptor. The protein encoded by this gene is a secreted glycoprotein that activates the receptor by inducing its tyrosine phosphorylation. It plays a critical role in mediating reciprocal interactions between the endothelium and surrounding matrix and mesenchyme and inhibits endothelial permeability. The protein also contributes to blood vessel maturation and stability, and may be involved in early development of the heart. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.