Polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene and cardiovascular disease

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The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is an integral part of two enzymatic cascades, one leading to the generation of angiotensin II and the other to the degradation of bradykinin. The great variety of cardiovascular effects mediated by these vasoactive peptides and the efficacy of ACE inhibitors in the treatment of hypertension and heart failure emphasize the prominent role of ACE in the cardiovascular system. Early in this decade convincing experimental evidence demonstrated the induction of this enzyme in several pathophysiological conditions, including myocardial infarction and left ventricular hypertrophy. In parallel, a deletion/insertion (D/I) polymorphism of the human ACE gene was characterized that is related to 14-50% of the interindividual variance in serum ACE activity. More recently this polymorphism has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of cardiovascular disorders, including myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy, hypertension, diabetic and IgA nephropathy, carotid artery thickening, and lacunar cerebral stroke. However, the associations between the ACE D/I polymorphism and most of these conditions were found to be inconsistent when additional populations were investigated. This contribution reviews the current evidence on the relationship between the ACE D/I polymorphism and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE deletion polymorphism
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Myocardial infarction


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