Centenary of the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences

Shedding the load of hypertension: The proteolytic processing of angiotensin-converting enzyme

Mario R W Ehlers, Kerry Gordon, Sylva L U Schwager, Edward D Sturrock


A number of membrane proteins are enzymatically cleaved or ‘shed’ from the cell surface, resulting in the modulation of biological events and opening novel pharmaceutical approaches to diverse diseases by targeting shedding. Our focus has been on understanding the shedding of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in blood pressure regulation. The identification of novel hereditary ACE mutations that result in increased ACE shedding has advanced our understanding of the role of ACE shedding in health and disease. Extensive biochemical and molecular analysis has helped to elucidate the mechanism of ACE shedding. These findings point to the potential therapeutic role of targeting shedding in regulating tissue ACE levels in cardiovascular disease.

Authors' affiliations

Mario R W Ehlers, Clinical Trials Group, Immune Tolerance Network

Kerry Gordon, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town

Sylva L U Schwager, University of Cape Town

Edward D Sturrock, Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Cape Town

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Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme; Ectodomain Shedding; Sheddase; Cardiovascular Disease; ADAM, Metalloprotease

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(6):461-464.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-01-13
Date published: 2012-03-02

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