Table of Contents
International Journal of Peptides
Volume 2012, Article ID 256294, 8 pages
Review Article

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) Is a Key Modulator of the Renin Angiotensin System in Health and Disease

Division of Diabetic Complications, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, P.O. Box 6492 Melbourne, VIC 8008, Australia

Received 15 September 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editor: Suhn Hee Kim

Copyright © 2012 Chris Tikellis and M. C. Thomas. 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.


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) shares some homology with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) but is not inhibited by ACE inhibitors. The main role of ACE2 is the degradation of Ang II resulting in the formation of angiotensin 1–7 (Ang 1–7) which opposes the actions of Ang II. Increased Ang II levels are thought to upregulate ACE2 activity, and in ACE2 deficient mice Ang II levels are approximately double that of wild-type mice, whilst Ang 1–7 levels are almost undetectable. Thus, ACE2 plays a crucial role in the RAS because it opposes the actions of Ang II. Consequently, it has a beneficial role in many diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease where its expression is decreased. Not surprisingly, current therapeutic strategies for ACE2 involve augmenting its expression using ACE2 adenoviruses, recombinant ACE2 or compounds in these diseases thereby affording some organ protection.