Published online Feb 6, 2015. doi: 10.5527/wjn.v4.i1.74
Peer-review started: June 26, 2014
First decision: July 10, 2014
Revised: July 16, 2014
Accepted: October 27, 2014
Article in press: October 27, 2014
Published online: February 6, 2015
Core tip: In the kidneys, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is expressed in the proximal tubules and less strongly in the glomeruli. The synthesis of inactive Ang 1-9 from angiotensin I (Ang I) and the catabolism of Ang II to produce Ang 1-7 represent the main functions of ACE2. Ang 1-7 reduces vasoconstriction, water retention, salt intake, cell proliferation, and reactive oxygen stress, and also has a renoprotective effect. Thus, in the non-classical renin angiotensin system the ACE2-Ang 1-7-Mas axis counteracts the ACE-Ang II-AT1 axis. This review examines recent human and animal studies about ACE and ACE2 expression in various renal diseases.