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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 147825, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/147825
Review Article

New Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Therapeutic Strategies Based on the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/Angiotensin-(1–7)/Mas Receptor Axis

1Department of Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31.270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31.270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
3Department of Physiology Sciences, Federal University of Goiás, 74.001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
4Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, College of Medicine, University of Florida, 32.610 Gainesville, FL, USA

Received 31 August 2011; Accepted 12 October 2011

Academic Editor: Roberto Pontremoli

Copyright © 2012 Anderson J. Ferreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Angiotensin (Ang)-(1–7) is now recognized as a biologically active component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The discovery of the angiotensin-converting enzyme homologue ACE2 revealed important metabolic pathways involved in the Ang-(1–7) synthesis. This enzyme can form Ang-(1–7) from Ang II or less efficiently through hydrolysis of Ang I to Ang-(1–9) with subsequent Ang-(1–7) formation. Additionally, it is well established that the G protein-coupled receptor Mas is a functional ligand site for Ang-(1–7). The axis formed by ACE2/Ang-(1–7)/Mas represents an endogenous counter regulatory pathway within the RAS whose actions are opposite to the vasoconstrictor/proliferative arm of the RAS constituted by ACE/Ang II/AT1 receptor. In this review we will discuss recent findings concerning the biological role of the ACE2/Ang-(1–7)/Mas arm in the cardiovascular and pulmonary system. Also, we will highlight the initiatives to develop potential therapeutic strategies based on this axis.