Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by severe sepsis remains a major challenge in intensive care medicine. ACE2 has been shown to protect against lung injury. However, the mechanisms of its protective effects on ARDS are largely unknown. Here, we report that ACE2 prevents LPS-induced ARDS by inhibiting MAPKs and NF-κB signaling pathway. Lentiviral packaged Ace2 cDNA or Ace2 shRNA was intratracheally administrated into the lungs of male SD rats. Two weeks after gene transfer, animals received LPS (7.5 mg/Kg) injection alone or in combination with Mas receptor antagonist A779 (10 μg/Kg) or ACE2 inhibitor MLN-4760 (1 mg/Kg) pretreatment. LPS-induced lung injury and inflammatory response were significantly prevented by ACE2 overexpression and deteriorated by Ace2 shRNA. A779 or MLN-4760 pretreatment abolished the protective effects of ACE2. Moreover, overexpression of ACE2 significantly reduced the Ang II/Ang-(1-7) ratio in BALF and up-regulated Mas mRNA expression in lung, which was reversed by A779. Importantly, the blockade of ACE2 on LPS-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38 and p50/p65 was also abolished by A779. Whereas, only the ERK1/2 inhibitor significantly attenuated lung injury in ACE2 overexpressing rats pretreated with A779. Our observation suggests that AEC2 attenuates LPS-induced ARDS via the Ang-(1-7)/Mas pathway by inhibiting ERK/NF-κB activation.