Renin is a proteolytic acidic enzyme produced and secreted by the juxtaglomerular cells. It cleaves angiotensinogen into angiotensin I (inactive), which ultimately leads to the production of angiotensin II (active). Therefore, renin, which has a limitating effect on the production of angiotensin, is a key-factor in the regulation of arterial pressure and hydrosodic metabolism.
As most enzymes which act outside of the cells in which they are synthesized, renin exists in both inactive and active forms. Inactive renin (prorenin) which is found in plasma, amniotic fluid and in the kidney, can be activated in different ways (cryoactivation, acidification or partial proteolysis) which expose the active site of the enzyme. Inactive renin can account for up to 90 % of the total renin in the circulation. However, it is the active renin which provides the medium through which biological activity takes place.

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