An established body of recent literature has demonstrated potent inhibitory effects of the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2)/ANG1-7/Mas axis on acute lung injury and lung fibrogenesis. One of the mechanisms of this inhibition is the enzymatic action of ACE-2 to degrade its main substrate angiotensin (ANG) II, thereby reducing the injurious and profibrotic activities of this octapeptide. Another, potentially more important mechanism is the production by ACE-2 of the heptapeptide ANG1-7, which inhibits the actions of ANGII through its own receptor Mas, the product of the oncogene of the same name. Very recent efforts to define the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ANG1-7/Mas action have revealed a number of similar, but mechanistically distinct, pathways by which ANG1-7 and Mas act on various lung cell types to inhibit lung injury and fibrosis. In this review we summarize the beneficial actions of the ANG1-7/Mas pathway, specifically on lung cells in non-neoplastic lung injury. We also review the currently known down-stream signaling mechanisms of the ANG1-7/Mas pathway in various lung cell types known to be key in acute injury and fibrogenesis.
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