Inhibitors of two zinc metallopeptidases, angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) and neutral metalloendopeptidase-24.11 (EP-24.11), are antihypertensive agents. In this issue of Hypertension, Genden and Molineaux report that yet another peptidase inhibitor, metalloendopeptidase-24.15, EC 184.108.40.206 (EP-24.15), lowers blood pressure in normotensive rats. In this editorial we discuss the possible role of kinins as common mediators of part of the vasodepressor action of these peptidase inhibitors. Genden and Molineaux report that the marked fall in blood pressure caused by the EP-24.15 inhibitor is almost abolished by a kinin receptor antagonist, supporting the hypothesis that kinins play a role in the regulation of normal blood pressure. We have confirmed that the EP-24.15 inhibitor used by these investigators lowers blood pressure. Up to now, EP-24.15 has not been implicated in in vivo metabolism of kinins. Although a number of kininases have been identified, our own previous work indicated that the metabolic pathway responsible for clearing kinins from the circulation involves the action of kininase II (angiotensin I converting enzyme) and renal peptidases. Nevertheless, the main metabolic pathway involved some other unidentified enzyme, since in these experiments disappearance of kinins from the circulation was only marginally reduced by a 'cocktail' of inhibitors of ACE, EP-24.11, and carboxypeptidase N. It could be that EP-24.15 is involved in kinin metabolism. However, a number of questions need to be answered with regard to the mechanism by which the EP-24.15 inhibitor lowers blood pressure. The data obtained with the EP-24.15, NE-24.11, and ACE inhibitors suggest that potentiation of vasodilator peptides is yet another possible relevant therapeutic approach to hypertension and perhaps heart failure.
Carretero, O. A., & Scicli, A. G. (1991). Zinc metallopeptidase inhibitors: A novel antihypertensive treatment. Hypertension. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.HYP.18.3.366