Gene expression and tissue localization of the two isoforms of angiotensin I converting enzyme.
Angiotensin converting enzyme exists in two different isoforms, somatic and germinal, whose respective distributions and intracellular localizations have not been precisely determined. The differing biochemical and molecular characteristics of the two isozymes allowed the preparation of antibodies specific for each of the two angiotensin converting enzyme isoforms and of two nucleic acid probes, one of which was specific for the germinal isoform. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization were used to determine the cell distribution of, respectively, the two isoforms and their corresponding messenger RNAs in the classically studied tissues of male adult humans and marmosets. Results provided by the two different methods were always concordant and were identical in the two species. The somatic angiotensin converting enzyme form was expressed uniquely in somatic tissues (vascular endothelial cells and at the brush border of renal proximal convoluted tubule, jejunal villus, and epididymal duct epithelia), and the germinal form was expressed uniquely in germinal cells with a precise stage-specific pattern, starting in round spermatids and finishing in spermatozoa. In situ hybridization documented the presence of somatic angiotensin converting enzyme messenger RNA in renal tubule epithelium, jejunal enterocytes, and epididymal epithelium and demonstrated that there was no direct correlation between the levels of angiotensin converting enzyme messenger RNA and the enzyme it encodes for, i.e., angiotensin converting enzyme, in a given epithelium. The significance of the ultraselective expression of germinal angiotensin converting enzyme and of its specific messenger RNA at a very precise stage of spermatogenesis remains uncertain.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association