Chymase: A New Pharmacologic Target in Cardiovascular Disease

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Chymase is a chymotrypsin-like serine protease stored as an inactive enzyme within the secretory granules of mast cells. An important action of chymase is the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-independent synthesis of angiotensin II, which occurs immediately after its release into the interstitial tissues after vascular injury. Under physiological conditions, the role of chymase is uncertain, but under pathologic situations, chymase may have an important role. Pharmacologic strategies that serve to inhibit chymase function may prove to be useful in the setting of vascular injury.

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