Integral membrane proteins (ECEs) that are zinc-binding metallopeptidases of the same family as neprilysin with a role in processing various neuropeptides. ECE-1 (EC 18.104.22.168, 770 aa) converts big endothelin-1 (ET-1) to active ET-1 and is important in regulating blood pressure. Isoforms of endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1a–d) are present in early endosomes, where they degrade various neuropeptides and regulate postendocytic sorting of receptors. Defects in the ECE-1 gene are associated with Hirschsprung's disease. ECE-2 (883 aa) has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease and knockout mice show deficiencies in learning and memory.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.