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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 Mar 1;302(5):R482-93. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00493.2011. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Lessons from in vitro studies and a related intracellular angiotensin II transgenic mouse model.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Department of Research, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


In the classical renin-angiotensin system, circulating ANG II mediates growth stimulatory and hemodynamic effects through the plasma membrane ANG II type I receptor, AT1. ANG II also exists in the intracellular space in some native cells, and tissues and can be upregulated in diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. Moreover, intracellular AT1 receptors can be found associated with endosomes, nuclei, and mitochondria. Intracellular ANG II can function in a canonical fashion through the native receptor and also in a noncanonical fashion through interaction with alternative proteins. Likewise, the receptor and proteolytic fragments of the receptor can function independently of ANG II. Participation of the receptor and ligand in alternative intracellular pathways may serve to amplify events that are initiated at the plasma membrane. We review historical and current literature relevant to ANG II, compared with other intracrines, in tissue culture and transgenic models. In particular, we describe a new transgenic mouse model, which demonstrates that intracellular ANG II is linked to high blood pressure. Appreciation of the diverse, pleiotropic intracellular effects of components of the renin-angiotensin system should lead to alternative disease treatment targets and new therapies.

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