Pleiotropic AT1 receptor signaling pathways mediating physiological and pathogenic actions of angiotensin II

Mol Endocrinol. 2006 May;20(5):953-70. doi: 10.1210/me.2004-0536. Epub 2005 Sep 1.


Angiotensin II (Ang II) activates a wide spectrum of signaling responses via the AT1 receptor (AT1R) that mediate its physiological control of blood pressure, thirst, and sodium balance and its diverse pathological actions in cardiovascular, renal, and other cell types. Ang II-induced AT1R activation via Gq/11 stimulates phospholipases A2, C, and D, and activates inositol trisphosphate/Ca2+ signaling, protein kinase C isoforms, and MAPKs, as well as several tyrosine kinases (Pyk2, Src, Tyk2, FAK), scaffold proteins (G protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1, p130Cas, paxillin, vinculin), receptor tyrosine kinases, and the nuclear factor-kappaB pathway. The AT1R also signals via Gi/o and G11/12 and stimulates G protein-independent signaling pathways, such as beta-arrestin-mediated MAPK activation and the Jak/STAT. Alterations in homo- or heterodimerization of the AT1R may also contribute to its pathophysiological roles. Many of the deleterious actions of AT1R activation are initiated by locally generated, rather than circulating, Ang II and are concomitant with the harmful effects of aldosterone in the cardiovascular system. AT1R-mediated overproduction of reactive oxygen species has potent growth-promoting, proinflammatory, and profibrotic actions by exerting positive feedback effects that amplify its signaling in cardiovascular cells, leukocytes, and monocytes. In addition to its roles in cardiovascular and renal disease, agonist-induced activation of the AT1R also participates in the development of metabolic diseases and promotes tumor progression and metastasis through its growth-promoting and proangiogenic activities. The recognition of Ang II's pathogenic actions is leading to novel clinical applications of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and AT1R antagonists, in addition to their established therapeutic actions in essential hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Angiotensin II