The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) constitutes a key hormonal system in the physiological regulation of blood pressure via peripheral and central mechanisms. Dysregulation of the RAS is considered a major factor in the development of cardiovascular pathologies, and pharmacologic blockades of this system by the inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) or antagonism of the angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) are effective therapeutic regimens. The RAS is now defined as a system composed of different angiotensin peptides with diverse biological actions mediated by distinct receptor subtypes. The classic RAS comprises the ACE-Ang II-AT1R axis that promotes vasoconstriction, water intake, sodium retention and increased oxidative stress, fibrosis, cellular growth, and inflammation. The nonclassical or alternative RAS is composed primarily of the ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-AT7R pathway that opposes the Ang II-AT1R axis. In lieu of the complex aspects of this system, the current review assesses the enzymatic cascade of the alternative Ang-(1-7) axis of the RAS.
Part of the book: Enzyme Inhibitors and Activators