The renin-angiotensin system is an essential regulatory system for blood pressure and fluid homeostasis. Angiotensinogen is the only known precursor of all the peptides generated in this system. While many of the basic understandings of angiotensinogen have come from research efforts to define its role in blood pressure regulation, novel pathophysiological functions of angiotensinogen have been discovered in the last two decades including kidney developmental abnormalities, atherosclerosis, and obesity. Despite the impressive advance in the understanding of angiotensinogen gene structure and protein functions, some fundamental questions remain unanswered. In this short review, we provide contemporary insights into the molecular characteristics of angiotensinogen and its pathophysiological features. In light of the recent progress, we emphasize some newly recognized functional features of angiotensinogen other than its regulation on blood pressure.
Keywords: angiotensinogen, gene, protein, atherosclerosis, obesity