New insights into the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme obtained from the analysis of genetically modified mice
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- Shen, X.Z., Xiao, H.D., Li, P. et al. J Mol Med (2008) 86: 679. doi:10.1007/s00109-008-0325-3
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Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) has been well-recognized for its role in blood pressure regulation. ACE is made by many tissues, though it is most abundantly expressed on the luminal surface of vascular endothelium. ACE knockout mice show a profound phenotype with low blood pressure, but also with hemopoietic and developmental defects, which complicates understanding the biological functions of ACE in individual tissue types. Using a promoter-swapping strategy, several mouse lines with unique ACE tissue expression patterns were studied. These include mice with ACE expression in the liver (ACE 3/3), the heart (ACE 8/8), and macrophages (ACE 10/10). We also investigated mice with a selective inactivation of either the N- or C-terminal ACE catalytic domain. Our studies indicate that ACE plays a role in many other physiologic processes beyond simple blood pressure control.