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Anguiano, L. .; Riera, M.; Pascual, J.; Soler, M. J. (2017): Circulating ACE2 in Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases. In: Current Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 24, No. 30: pp. 3231-3241
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Abstract

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 2 is a homologue of ACE that catalyzes the conversion of Angiotensin (Ang) II into Ang1-7, which induces vasodilation, anti-fibrotic, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory effects. Given that ACE2 counterbalances the effects of Ang II, it has been proposed as a biomarker in kidney disease patients. Circulating ACE2 has been studied in human and experimental studies under physiological and pathological conditions and different techniques have been assessed to determine its enzymatic activity. In patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease circulating ACE2 has been shown to be increased. In addition, hypertensive and diabetic patients have also shown higher circulating ACE2 activities. A study in type 1 diabetes patients found a negative association between circulating ACE2 and estimated glomerular filtration rate in male and female patients. Recently, it has been demonstrated that circulating ACE2 is increased in male patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and that it is independently associated with other classical CV risk factors, such as advanced age and diabetes. Furthermore, circulating ACE2 has been shown to be associated with silent atherosclerosis and CV outcomes in CKD patients. In diabetic nephropathy, experimental studies have demonstrated an increase in circulating ACE2 activity both at early and late stages of the disease, as well as a direct association with increased urinary albumin excretion, suggesting that it may be increased as a renoprotective mechanism in these patients. In this paper we will review the measurement of circulating ACE2 and its role in kidney disease, as well as its potential role as a renal and CV biomarker.