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Angiotensin describes a group of plasma proteins derived from angiotensinogen, an alpha-globulin protein, produced by the liver.

Angiotensinogen is cleaved by the enzyme renin. Renin is released by the juxtaglomerular apparatus of the kidneys. The cleavage products include the decapeptide angiotensin I. Angiotensin I has no physiological activity, but it circulates haemotogenously to the lungs where it is cleaved by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) into the octapeptide angiotensin II.

Angiotensin II is a physiologically active molecule - see submenu. Its actions can be inhibited by drugs which block the actions of ACE - ACE inhibitors - and drugs which antagonize the actions of angiotensin at its peripheral receptors - angiotensin receptor antagonists.

Last reviewed 01/2018