Angiotensin peptides regulate vascular tone and natriohydric balance through the renin angiotensin system (RAS) and are related with the angiogenesis which plays an important role in the metastatic pathway. Estrogen influences the aminopeptidases (APs) involved in the metabolism of bioactive peptides of RAS through several pathways. We analyze RAS-regulating AP activities in serum of pre- and postmenopausal women with breast cancer to evaluate the putative value of these activities as biological markers of the development of breast cancer. We observed an increase in aminopeptidase N (APN) and aminopeptidase B (APB) activities in women with breast cancer; however, a decrease in aspartyl-aminopeptidase (AspAP) activity in premenopausal women. These results suggest a slow metabolism of angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin III (Ang III) in premenopausal women and a rapid metabolism of Ang III to angiotensin IV (Ang IV) in pre- and postmenopausal women with breast cancer. An imbalance in the signals activated by Ang II may produce abnormal vascular growth with different response between pre- and postmenopausal women depending on the hormonal profile and the development of the disease.
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