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Jieqiong Wang ◽  
Huiying Zhao ◽  
Youzhong An

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a transmembrane glycoprotein, is an important part of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). In the COVID-19 epidemic, it was found to be the receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). ACE2 maintains homeostasis by inhibiting the Ang II-AT1R axis and activating the Ang I (1-7)-MasR axis, protecting against lung, heart and kidney injury. In addition, ACE2 helps transport amino acids across the membrane. ACE2 sheds from the membrane, producing soluble ACE2 (sACE2). Previous studies have pointed out that sACE2 plays a role in the pathology of the disease, but the underlying mechanism is not yet clear. Recent studies have confirmed that sACE2 can also act as the receptor of SARS-COV-2, mediating viral entry into the cell and then spreading to the infective area. Elevated concentrations of sACE2 are more related to disease. Recombinant human ACE2, an exogenous soluble ACE2, can be used to supplement endogenous ACE2. It may represent a potent COVID-19 treatment in the future. However, the specific administration concentration needs to be further investigated.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-13
Guo-Biao Wu ◽  
Hui-Bo Du ◽  
Jia-Yi Zhai ◽  
Si Sun ◽  
Jun-Ling Cui ◽  

Hemorrhagic shock is associated with activation of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS). Previous studies demonstrated that central RAS activation produced by various challenges sensitizes angiotensin (Ang) II-elicited hypertension and that ERS contributes to the development of neurogenic hypertension. The present study investigated whether controlled hemorrhage could sensitize Ang II-elicited hypertension and whether the brain RAS and ERS mediate this sensitization. Results showed that hemorrhaged (HEM) rats had a significantly enhanced hypertensive response to a slow-pressor infusion of Ang II when compared to sham HEM rats. Treatment with either angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 1 inhibitor, captopril, or ACE2 activator, diminazene, abolished the HEM-induced sensitization of hypertension. Treatment with the ERS agonist, tunicamycin, in sham HEM rats also sensitized Ang II-elicited hypertension. However, blockade of ERS with 4-phenylbutyric acid in HEM rats did not alter HEM-elicited sensitization of hypertension. Either HEM or ERS activation produced a greater reduction in BP after ganglionic blockade, upregulated mRNA and protein expression of ACE1 in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and elevated plasma levels of Ang II but reduced mRNA expression of the Ang-(1-7) receptor, Mas-R, and did not alter plasma levels of Ang-(1-7). Treatment with captopril or diminazene, but not phenylbutyric acid, reversed these changes. No treatments had effects on PVN protein expression of the ERS marker glucose-regulated protein 78. The results indicate that controlled hemorrhage sensitizes Ang II-elicited hypertension by augmenting RAS prohypertensive actions and reducing RAS antihypertensive effects in the brain, which is independent of ERS mechanism.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Haru Nomura ◽  
Sanjaya Kuruppu ◽  
Niwanthi W. Rajapakse

Despite current therapies for diabetic nephropathy, many patients continue to progress to end-stage renal disease requiring renal replacement therapy. While the precise mechanisms underlying diabetic nephropathy remain to be determined, it is well established that chronic activation of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a substantial role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the enzyme responsible for activating the reno-protective arm of the RAAS converts angiotensin (Ang) II into Ang 1-7 which exerts reno-protective effects. Chronic RAAS activation leads to kidney inflammation and fibrosis, and ultimately lead to end-stage kidney disease. Currently, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and Ang II receptor blockers are approved for renal fibrosis and inflammation. Targeting the reno-protective arm of the RAAS should therefore, provide further treatment options for kidney fibrosis and inflammation. In this review, we examine how targeting the reno-protective arm of the RAAS can ameliorate kidney inflammation and fibrosis and rescue kidney function in diabetic nephropathy. We argue tissue ACE2 stimulation provides a unique and promising therapeutic approach for diabetic nephropathy.

Megan A Sylvester ◽  
Dennis P Pollow ◽  
Caitlin Moffett ◽  
Wendy Nunez ◽  
Jennifer L Uhrlaub ◽  

Premenopausal females are protected from Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension following the adoptive transfer of T cells from normotensive donors. For the present study, we hypothesized that the transfer of hypertensive T cells (HT) or splenocytes (HS) from hypertensive donors would eliminate premenopausal protection from hypertension. Premenopausal Rag-1-/- females received either normotensive (NT) or hypertensive cells, three weeks prior to Ang II infusion (14 days, 490 ng/kg/min). Contrary to our hypothesis, no increase in Ang II-induced blood pressure was observed in the NT/Ang or HT/Ang groups. Flow cytometry demonstrated that renal FoxP3+ T regulatory cells were significantly decreased and IHC showed an increase in renal F4/80+ macrophages in HT/Ang, suggesting a shift in the renal inflammatory environment despite no change in blood pressure. Renal mRNA expression of MCP-1, Endothelin-1, GPER-1 were significantly decreased in HT/Ang. The adoptive transfer of hypertensive splenocytes prior to Ang II infusion (HS/Ang) eliminated premenopausal protection from hypertension and significantly decreased splenic FoxP3+ T regulatory cells compared to females receiving normotensive splenocytes (NS/Ang). Expression of MIP-1a/CCL3, a potent macrophage chemokine was elevated in HS/Ang, however no increase in renal macrophage infiltration occurred. Together, these data show that in premenopausal females T cells from hypertensive donors are not sufficient to induce a robust Ang II mediated hypertension, in contrast, transfer of hypertensive splenocytes (consisting of T/B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages) is sufficient. Further work is needed to understand how innate and adaptive immune cells and estrogen signaling coordinate to cause differential hypertensive outcomes in premenopausal females.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Chen Wang ◽  
Haoyu Wu ◽  
Yuanming Xing ◽  
Yulan Ye ◽  
Fangzhou He ◽  

AbstractEndothelial dysfunction and vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) plasticity are critically involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension and arterial stiffness. MicroRNAs can mediate the cellular communication between vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and neighboring cells. Here, we investigated the role of endothelial-derived extracellular microRNA-92a (miR-92a) in promoting arterial stiffness by regulating EC–VSMC communication. Serum miR-92a level was higher in hypertensive patients than controls. Circulating miR-92a level was positively correlated with pulse wave velocity (PWV), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and serum endothelin-1 (ET-1) level, but inversely with serum nitric oxide (NO) level. In vitro, angiotensin II (Ang II)-increased miR-92a level in ECs mediated a contractile-to-synthetic phenotype change of co-cultured VSMCs. In Ang II-infused mice, locked nucleic acid-modified antisense miR-92a (LNA-miR-92a) ameliorated PWV, SBP, DBP, and impaired vasodilation induced by Ang II. LNA-miR-92a administration also reversed the increased levels of proliferative genes and decreased levels of contractile genes induced by Ang II in mouse aortas. Circulating serum miR-92a level and PWV were correlated in these mice. These findings indicate that EC miR-92a may be transported to VSMCs via extracellular vesicles to regulate phenotype changes of VSMCs, leading to arterial stiffness.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-13
Jia Liu ◽  
Chunjing Li ◽  
Qiuyang Wang ◽  
Haiyan Hu ◽  
Chunhong Li ◽  

According to the latest clinical data, cardiovascular diseases have ranked first in prone diseases, causing 40% of the premature deaths of China’s population. This study aimed to investigate the influence of Toll-like receptor 2- (TLR2-) mediated inflammation on the occurrence and development of familial hypertension combined with hyperlipemia and its related mechanism. Blood specimens from 66 patients undergoing coronary atherosclerosis were collected and grouped, including 22 patients into the control group, 25 into the familial hypertension group, and 19 into familial hypertension combined with hyperlipemia group. In this study, ELISA was conducted for determining the levels of four inflammatory factors of TLR2 and IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-ɑ, and CCL2 in serum and the levels of relevant indicators in mice. C57Bl/6j and genetically engineered C.129(B6)-Tlr2tm1Kir/J mice were given subcutaneous injection of normal saline (wild-saline group), 8-week 40% high-fat diet (wild-high-fat group), and subcutaneous Alzet-implanted angiotensin II micropump supplemented with the research diet (wild-high fat-Ang II group, Tlr2-/--high fat-Ang II group). Blood pressure in mice was recorded consecutively with a noninvasive hemopiezometer for eight weeks. TLR2 and IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-ɑ, and CCL2 in serum of patients with familial hypertension combined with hyperlipemia and the hypertension combined with hyperlipemia mouse model were higher than those in the normal group. Under combined intervention of Ang II and the research diet, mRNA expression related to blood pressure, blood lipid, and fat metabolism in Tlr2-/- genetically engineering mice was significantly lower than that in the wild-high fat-Ang II group. The phosphorylation levels of AKT, IKK, and p65 in mice with hypertension combined with hyperlipidemia were significantly higher than those in normal group. The levels of blood pressure and blood lipid in mice after blocking the AKT or NF-κB pathway were significantly downregulated compared with those in the wild-high fat-Ang II group, with statistically significant differences (both P < 0.05 ). In conclusion, TLR2 regulates inflammation through Akt-NF-κB pathway, thus inducing the occurrence and development of familial hypertension combined with hyperlipemia.

2022 ◽  
Pete Heinzelman ◽  
Philip A Romero

Mutants of the Angiotensin Converting-Enzyme 2 (ACE2) carboxypeptidase possessing enhanced hydrolytic activity and specificity hold potential to beneficially modulate the Angiotensin receptor (ATR) therapeutic axis with increased efficacy and reduced potential side effects relative to wild type ACE2. In pursuing this goal, we established a yeast display-based liquid chromatography screen that enabled use of directed evolution to identify ACE2 mutants with improved target peptide substrate, Angiotensin-II (Ang-II), activity and specificity relative to Apelin-13, an off-target peptide substrate. Screening yeast-displayed ACE2 active site residue saturation mutant libraries revealed three substitution-tolerant positions that can be mutated to enhance ACE2's activity profile. Double mutant libraries combining substitutions at these positions, M360, T371 and Y510, yielded candidate improved ACE2 mutants that were recombinantly expressed and purified at 1 mg/L yield and > 90% homogeneity. Relative to wild type, the leading mutant, T371L/Y510Ile, has seven-fold increased kcat toward Ang-II and six-fold decreased kcat/Km for Apelin-13 hydrolysis. In single substrate hydrolysis assays featuring physiologically relevant substrate concentrations T371L/Y510Ile hydrolyzes more Ang-II than wild type with concomitant Ang-II:Apelin-13 specificity improvements reaching 30-fold. Additionally, T371L/Y510Ile hydrolyzed Ang-II at rates greater than wild type, with Apelin-13 hydrolysis reductions of up to 80 percent, in multiplex assays containing a mixture of peptides relevant to the ATR therapeutic axis. Our efforts have delivered ATR axis-acting therapeutic candidates with relevance to established and unexplored ACE2 therapeutic applications and demonstrate the feasibility of developing ACE2 variants for use in biomedical contexts unrelated to the ATR axis such as localized activation of peptide-based prodrugs.

R. Rodrigues-Díez Raul ◽  
Antonio Tejera-Muñoz ◽  
Vanesa Esteban ◽  
B. Steffensen Lasse ◽  
Raquel Rodrigues-Díez ◽  

Background: CCN2 (cellular communication network factor 2) is a matricellular protein involved in cell communication and microenvironmental signaling responses. CCN2 is known to be overexpressed in several cardiovascular diseases, but its role is not completely understood. Methods: Here, CCN2 involvement in aortic wall homeostasis and response to vascular injury was investigated in inducible Ccn2 -deficient mice, with induction of vascular damage by infusion of Ang II (angiotensin II; 15 days), which is known to upregulate CCN2 expression in the aorta. Results: Ang II infusion in CCN2-silenced mice lead to 60% mortality within 10 days due to rapid development and rupture of aortic aneurysms, as evidenced by magnetic resonance imaging, echography, and histological examination. Ccn2 deletion decreased systolic blood pressure and caused aortic structural and functional changes, including elastin layer disruption, smooth muscle cell alterations, augmented distensibility, and increased metalloproteinase activity, which were aggravated by Ang II administration. Gene ontology analysis of RNA sequencing data identified aldosterone biosynthesis as one of the most enriched terms in CCN2-deficient aortas. Consistently, treatment with the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone before and during Ang II infusion reduced aneurysm formation and mortality, underscoring the importance of the aldosterone pathway in Ang II–induced aorta pathology. Conclusions: CCN2 is critically involved in the functional and structural homeostasis of the aorta and in maintenance of its integrity under Ang II–induced stress, at least, in part, by disruption of the aldosterone pathway. Thus, this study opens new avenues to future studies in disorders associated to vascular pathologies.

10.52586/5034 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (12) ◽  
pp. 1396-1410
Liyan Zhao ◽  
Feng Yuan ◽  
Ni Pan ◽  
Yun Yu ◽  
Hanyan Yang ◽  

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