Definition of Angiotensin-converting enzyme
1. Noun. Proteolytic enzyme that converts angiotensin I into angiotensin II.
Medical Definition of Angiotensin-converting enzyme
This hydrolase enzyme cleaves the decapeptide angiotensin I (biologically inactive) to form active angiotensin II by angiotensin-converting enzyme which removes a dipeptide (histidylleucine) from angiotensin I.
Angiotensin II causes contraction of vascular smooth muscle and thus raises blood pressure and stimulates aldosterone release from the adrenal glands. Angiotensin is finally broken down by angiotensinases.
Elevations in angiotensin converting enzyme are seen sarcoidosis, histoplasmosis, alcoholic cirrhosis, asbestosis, berylliosis, diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, hyperthyroidism, amyloidosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, scleroderma, silicosis, tuberculosis, Gaucher's disease and leprosy. The normal values are 18 to 67 U/ml over 20 years of age (people under 20 have higher levels).
Drugs that inhibit ACE are used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure.
See: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor
(12 Aug 2000)
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