Proton magnetic resonance and chemical reactivity studies have demonstrated the presence of a tyrosine charge relay system in angiotensin which is analogous to the serine charge relay system present at the active site of serine proteases. Receptor activation by angiotensin can be explained by electronic effects deriving from an interaction of the charge relay system with stacking of the histidine and phenylalanine rings. Experiments with serine protease inhibitors suggest the possibility that mechanistic features of the interaction of angiotensin with its receptors may apply to other ‘phenoxyl’ hormones including certain peptides, steroids and catecholamines.

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