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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2015, Article ID 896861, 6 pages
Review Article

The ACE2/Apelin Signaling, MicroRNAs, and Hypertension

1State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Hypertension, Shanghai Institute of Hypertension, Shanghai 200025, China
3Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200025, China
4Department of Cardiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou 510080, China

Received 17 December 2014; Accepted 23 February 2015

Academic Editor: Markus Schlaich

Copyright © 2015 Lai-Jiang Chen 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.


The renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a pivotal role in the development of hypertension. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which primarily metabolises angiotensin (Ang) II to generate the beneficial heptapeptide Ang-(1-7), serves as a negative regulator of the RAAS. Apelin is a second catalytic substrate for ACE2 and functions as an inotropic and cardiovascular protective peptide. The physiological effects of Apelin are exerted through binding to its receptor APJ, a seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor that shares significant homology with the Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R). The deregulation of microRNAs, a class of short and small noncoding RNAs, has been shown to involve cardiovascular remodeling and pathogenesis of hypertension via the activation of the Ang II/AT1R pathway. MicroRNAs are linked with modulation of the ACE2/Apelin signaling, which exhibits beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system and hypertension. The ACE2-coupled crosstalk among the RAAS, the Apelin system, and microRNAs provides an important mechanistic insight into hypertension. This paper focuses on what is known about the ACE2/Apelin signaling and its biological roles, paying particular attention to interactions and crosstalk among the ACE2/Apelin signaling, microRNAs, and hypertension, aiming to facilitate the exploitation of new therapeutic medicine to control hypertension.