Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is a zinc metalloproteinase and a key regulator of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). ACE2 is a newly described enzyme identified in rodents and humans with a more restricted distribution than ACE, and is found mainly in heart and kidney. ACE2 cleaves a single residue from angiotensin I (Ang I) to generate Ang 1-9, and degrades Ang II, the main effector of the RAS, to the vasodilator Ang 1-7. The importance of ACE2 in normal physiology and pathophysiological states is largely unknown. ACE2 might act in a counter-regulatory manner to ACE, modulating the balance between vasoconstrictors and vasodilators within the heart and kidney, and playing a significant role in regulating cardiovascular and renal function.