The RAS (renin–angiotensin system) is one of the earliest and most extensively studied hormonal systems. The RAS is an atypical hormonal system in several ways. The major bioactive peptide of the system, AngII (angiotensin II), is neither synthesized in nor targets one specific organ. New research has identified additional peptides with important physiological and pathological roles. More peptides also mean newer enzymatic cascades that generate these peptides and more receptors that mediate their function. In addition, completely different roles of components that constitute the RAS have been uncovered, such as that for prorenin via the prorenin receptor. Complexity of the RAS is enhanced further by the presence of sub-systems in tissues, which act in an autocrine/paracrine manner independent of the endocrine system. The RAS seems relevant at the cellular level, wherein individual cells have a complete system, termed the intracellular RAS. Thus, from cells to tissues to the entire organism, the RAS exhibits continuity while maintaining independent control at different levels. The intracellular RAS is a relatively new concept for the RAS. The present review provides a synopsis of the literature on this system in different tissues.

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