Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

US Researchers Discover Surprising New Roles for a Key Regulatory Enzyme of Blood Pressure

10.09.2012
Many patients with hypertension are treated with ACE inhibitors. These drugs block the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) that regulates the salt and water balance of the body and raises blood pressure.
Recent studies by Professor Ken Bernstein (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA) have, however, significantly broadened the enzyme’s known task spectrum: The enzyme also plays a key role in blood formation, renal development and male fertility. In addition, ACE has a hitherto unexpected influence on the immune response, he reported at the 1st ECRC Franz Volhard Symposium on September 7, 2012 at the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) in Berlin-Buch.

Professor Ken Bernstein reported that in mice an excess of ACE led to a much stronger immune response than usual. In animal experiments, not only could bacterial infections be combated more effectively, but also the growth of aggressive skin cancer (melanoma) in mice could be contained by a stronger response of the immune system. In contrast, if the mice lacked ACE, the immune cells worked less effectively.

In addition, ACE apparently has an influence on blood formation. It has been known for many years that, in humans, ACE inhibitors induce a small reduction of red blood cell levels. To elucidate the exact roles of ACE, the Bernstein’s research team deactivated the genes in mice that normally provide the blueprint for the enzyme. As a consequence, these so-called “knock out” mice could no longer produce the enzyme. The examination of these mice revealed that they in fact had significantly fewer red blood cells. Also, the white blood cells in these animals were less functional. According to the researchers’ studies, ACE evidently plays a role in the development of the different blood cells.
Bernstein's team also showed that ACE apparently plays an important role in the development of the kidneys. In mice that could not produce the enzyme, the small arteries and the tissue of the kidneys revealed pathological changes, and the urine flow was impaired.

According to these findings, male fertility is also associated with ACE. Male mice lacking ACE continued to produce sperm, but they were no longer able to reproduce. However, if in the mice not the enzyme itself, but rather a product of ACE – namely the hormone angiotensin II – was suppressed, they could continue to reproduce. Until now it was thought that ACE mainly exerts its effect through the production of angiotensin II. These results show, however, that ACE is enzymatically active and produces other active products apart from angiotensin II, for example in the testes.

Contact:
Barbara Bachtler
Press Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
in the Helmholtz Association
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>