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A deletion allele of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene has been associated with increased serum ACE activity, enhanced conversion of angiotensin (Ang) I to Ang II, and cardiovascular morbidity. This study tested the hypothesis that the ACE deletion allele is also associated with enhanced degradation of bradykinin, a vasoprotective peptide. Metabolism of synthetic bradykinin was measured in sera obtained from subjects who were homozygous for either the ACE deletion (n=12) or insertion (n=8) allele and who had participated in an Ang I-infusion protocol. ACE levels tended to be increased in subjects who were DD compared with those who were II [41.2 (95% CI, 27.9, 54.3) vs. 28.0 IU/L (20.0, 35.9); t=-1.6; p=0.1 18]. During Ang I infusion, plasma Ang II concentrations were increased in DD compared with II subjects (F =4.4; p=0.052). In contrast, the half-life of bradykinin was significantly decreased in sera obtained from ACE DD compared with II subjects [26.3 s (17.8, 34.6 s) vs. 42.1 s (24.4, 59.9 s); t=-2.4; p=0.029]. Moreover, there were significant inverse relations between the half-life of bradykinin and serum ACE activity (p < 0.001) and between the half-life of bradykinin and the conversion of Ang I to Ang II (p=0.026). This study confirms that ACE genotype determines bradykinin degradation and suggests another mechanism whereby the ACE D allele could be associated with deleterious cardiovascular effects.