While it is known that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the kidney is concentrated at the brush borders of the proximal tubule, the role of tubular ACE in renal physiology is not well understood. The active site of tubular ACE is exposed on the luminal surface of the brush borders and may hydrolyze peptides in the glomerular filtrate. However, a positive correlation between blood pressure and renal ACE activity was observed in spontaneously hypertensive rats, as well as in cases of ACE inhibition. Determination of ACE activity in different renal zones and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that ACE predominates in the inner cortex and that the proximal tubule in the outer cortex contains less ACE. Perhaps the inner cortex is the area responsible for alteration of renal ACE activity, since only ACE activity in the inner cortex increased following administration of the ACE inhibitor captopril. This would suggest that the induction of ACE occurs in the inner cortex. Renal ACE activity is also affected by oxidation. Thus, the activity increased when diamide, an oxidizing agent, was added to the crude extract of renal cortex and when oxygen was introduced into the extract. Therefore, tissue oxidation may be one factor affecting renal ACE activity.