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Traditionally viewed as important in the regulation of blood pressure, the renin-angiotensin system - and specifically the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-angiotensin (Ang) II-AT1 receptor axis - may play a prominent role to promote inflammation and fibrosis. ACE2, a new component of the renin-angiotensin system, has emerged as a key enzyme that selectively degrades Ang II and generates Ang-(1-7), a bioactive peptide with anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic actions. Takahashi and colleagues demonstrate circulating titers of inhibitory autoantibodies against ACE2 in patients with systemic sclerosis. The current study reveals a potentially novel mechanism to attenuate the catalytic activity of ACE2, thereby promoting the actions of Ang II.