Chromogranin A (CHGA) is ubiquitously expressed in secretory cells of the endocrine, neuroendocrine, and neuronal tissues. Although this protein has long been known as a marker for neuroendocrine tumors, its role in cardiovascular disease states including essential hypertension (EH) has only recently been recognized. It acts as a prohormone giving rise to bioactive peptides such as vasostatin-I (human CHGA1-76) and catestatin (human CHGA352-372) that exhibit several cardiovascular regulatory functions. CHGA is over-expressed but catestatin is diminished in EH. Moreover, genetic variants in the promoter, catestatin, and 3'-untranslated regions of the human CHGA gene alter autonomic activity and blood pressure. Consistent with these findings, targeted ablation of this gene causes severe arterial hypertension and ventricular hypertrophy in mice. Transgenic expression of the human CHGA gene or exogenous administration of catestatin restores blood pressure in these mice. Thus, the accumulated evidence establishes CHGA as a novel susceptibility gene for EH.