Food-Derived Up-Regulators and Activators of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2: A Review

Zihan Wang, Hongbing Fan, Jianping Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key enzyme in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), also serving as an amino acid transporter and a receptor for certain coronaviruses. Its primary role is to protect the cardiovascular system via the ACE2/Ang (1-7)/MasR cascade. Given the critical roles of ACE2 in regulating numerous physiological functions, molecules that can upregulate or activate ACE2 show vast therapeutic value. There are only a few ACE2 activators that have been reported, a wide range of molecules, including food-derived compounds, have been reported as ACE2 up-regulators. Effective doses of bioactive peptides range from 10 to 50 mg/kg body weight (BW)/day when orally administered for 1 to 7 weeks. Protein hydrolysates require higher doses at 1000 mg/kg BW/day for 20 days. Phytochemicals and vitamins are effective at doses typically ranging from 10 to 200 mg/kg BW/day for 3 days to 6 months, while Traditional Chinese Medicine requires doses of 1.25 to 12.96 g/kg BW/day for 4 to 8 weeks. ACE2 activation is linked to its hinge-bending region, while upregulation involves various signaling pathways, transcription factors, and epigenetic modulators. Future studies are expected to explore novel roles of ACE2 activators or up-regulators in disease treatments and translate the discovery to bedside applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12896-12914
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 12 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society


  • ACE2 activating mechanism
  • ACE2 activators
  • ACE2 up-regulators
  • ACE2 up-regulatory mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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