Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 321–337

Involvement of insulin-regulated aminopeptidase in the effects of the renin–angiotensin fragment angiotensin IV: a review

  • Bart Stragier
  • Dimitri De Bundel
  • Sophie Sarre
  • Ilse Smolders
  • Georges Vauquelin
  • Alain Dupont
  • Yvette Michotte
  • Patrick Vanderheyden


For decades, angiotensin (Ang) II was considered as the end product and the only bioactive peptide of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS). However, later studies revealed biological activity for other Ang fragments. Amongst those, Ang IV has drawn a lot of attention since it exerts a wide range of central and peripheral effects including the ability to enhance learning and memory recall, anticonvulsant and anti-epileptogenic properties, protection against cerebral ischemia, activity at the vascular level and an involvement in atherogenesis. Some of these effects are AT1 receptor dependent but others most likely result from the binding of Ang IV to insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP) although the exact mechanism(s) of action that mediate the Ang IV-induced effects following this binding are until now not fully known. Nevertheless, three hypotheses have been put forward: since Ang IV is an inhibitor of the catalytic activity of IRAP, its in vivo effects might result from a build-up of IRAP’s neuropeptide substrates. Second, IRAP is co-localized with the glucose transporter GLUT4 in several tissue types and therefore, Ang IV might interact with the uptake of glucose. A final and more intriguing hypothesis ascribes a receptor function to IRAP and hence an agonist role to Ang IV. Taken together, it is clear that further work is required to clarify the mechanism of action of Ang IV. On the other hand, a wide range of studies have made it clear that IRAP might become an important target for drug development against different pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and ischemia.


Angiotensin IV Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase Memory Epilepsy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bart Stragier
    • 1
  • Dimitri De Bundel
    • 1
  • Sophie Sarre
    • 1
  • Ilse Smolders
    • 1
  • Georges Vauquelin
    • 2
  • Alain Dupont
    • 3
  • Yvette Michotte
    • 1
  • Patrick Vanderheyden
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Drug Analysis and Drug InformationResearch Group Experimental Pharmacology, Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Biochemical PharmacologyVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologyVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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