[ C-reactive protein, CRP ]
A protein found in blood plasma, produced by the liver in response to inflammatory conditions such as infections, inflammatory diseases, cancer, tissue injury and necrosis.
CRP binds to phosphocholine, found on the surface of dead or dying cells and certain bacteria. This aids in recognition of such cells and initiates a phagocytotic immunologic response.
Clinically, CRP is used as a marker for risk of heart disease. CRP has been observed to rise in relation to obesity, smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol.