The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is a well-defined pathway playing a key role in maintaining circulatory homeostasis. Abnormal activation of RAAS contributes to development of cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, cardiac hypertrophy, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Although several key RAAS enzymes and peptide hormones have been thoroughly investigated, the role of angiotensinogen-the precursor substrate of the RAAS pathway-remains less understood. The study of angiotensinogen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has provided insight into associations between angiotensinogen and hypertension, congestive heart failure, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Targeted drug therapy of RAAS has dramatically improved clinical outcomes for patients with heart failure, myocardial infarction, and hypertension. However, all such therapeutics block RAAS components downstream of angiotensinogen and elicit compensatory pathways that limit their therapeutic efficacy as monotherapy. Upstream RAAS targeting by an angiotensinogen inhibitor has the potential to be more efficacious in patients with suboptimal RAAS inhibition and has a better safety profile than multiagent RAAS blockade. Newly developed therapeutics that target angiotensinogen through antisense oligonucleotides or silencer RNA technologies are providing a novel perspective into the pathobiology of angiotensinogen and show promise as the next frontier in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: RAAS; RNA therapeutics; angiotensinogen; polymorphisms.
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