The Angiotensins

The amino acid composition of the peptides and enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of the angiotensins is shown in Figure 18.1. Angiotensin I is believed to have little direct biological activity and must be converted to angiotensin II or angiotensin 1-7 before characteristic responses of the renin-angiotensin system are manifested. Angiotensin I and II are metabolized at their animo terminus by aspartyl aminopeptidase, an enzyme in plasma and numerous tissues. Angiotensin II is rapidly metabolized by aspartyl aminopeptidases, en-dopeptidases, and carboxypeptidases, while angiotensin III is hydrolyzed by aminopeptidases, endopeptidases, and carboxypeptidases (Fig. 18.1).The biological activity of angiotensin III ranges from one-fourth to equipotent with angiotensin II, depending on the response being monitored. The smallest biologically active peptide in this system is angiotensin IV, which exerts unique actions in the central nervous system and periphery that are distinct from those of angiotensin II.

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