(Science: 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, hodgkins disease, hyperthyroidism, amyloidosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, scleroderma, silicosis, tuberculosis, gauchers disease and leprosy. The normal values are 18 to 67 U/ml over 20 years of age (people under 20 have higher levels).