Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 as a therapeutic target for heart failure

Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2014 Mar;11(1):58-63. doi: 10.1007/s11897-013-0178-0.


The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a major role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disorders. Angiotensin II (Ang-II), the final product of this pathway, is known for its vasoconstrictive and proliferative effects. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a newly discovered homolog of ACE, plays a key role as the central negative regulator of the RAS. It diverts the generation of vasoactive Ang-II into the vasodilatory and growth inhibiting peptide angiotensin(1-7) [Ang(1-7)], thereby providing counter-regulatory responses to neurohormonal activation. There is substantial experimental evidence evaluating the role of ACE2/Ang(1-7) in hypertension, heart failure, and atherosclerosis. In this review, we aim to focus on the conceptual facts of the ACE2-Ang(1-7) axis with regards to clinical implications and therapeutic targets in cardiovascular disorders, with emphasis on the potential therapeutic role in cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin I / biosynthesis
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Cardiovascular Agents / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Peptide Fragments / biosynthesis
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / drug effects
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / physiology*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology
  • Ventricular Remodeling / physiology


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Angiotensin I
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • angiotensin I (1-7)