Coupling factor 6 (CF6) — a component of the mitochondrial ATP synthase — is known to be essential for intracellular energy transduction. In October 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Tomohiro Osanai and colleagues from Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan show that mitochondrial CF6 is also a potent circulating endogenous vasoconstrictor, and its function may suggest a new mechanism for the development of hypertension.

Osanai et al. observed that CF6 localizes to the endothelial cells, from where it is released into the circulation, and that CF6 gene expression and plasma concentration are higher in spontaneously hypertensive rats than in normotensive controls. When they injected recombinant CF6 into normal rats blood pressure increased, whereas a specific antibody to CF6 decreased systemic blood pressure concomitantly with an increase in plasma prostacyclin. In addition, the hypotensive effect of the antibody could be abolished by concomitant treatment with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor...

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