1. The components of the renin-angiotensin system exist in many cardiovascular tissues (heart vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands). 2. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is similar in somatic cells from all these sites. 3. ACE contains two catalytic sites that have different conformation requirements. This suggests that each site may have different substrates and that specific inhibitors could be developed for each site. 4. The cardiovascular functions of tissue ACE may include the regulation of regional blood flow, modulation of local sympathetic activity, stimulation of hyperplasia and hypertrophy and the mediation of inflammation.