C-reactive protein (CRP) is an annular (ring-shaped), pentameric protein found in the blood plasma, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein is an acute-phase protein). Its physiological role is to bind to phosphocholine expressed on the surface of dead or dying cells (and some types of bacteria) in order to activate the complement system via the C1Q complex.
CRP is synthesized by the liver in response to factors released by macrophages and fat cells (adipocytes).
It is a member of the pentraxin family of proteins.
It is not related to C-peptide (insulin) or protein C (blood coagulation). C-reactive protein was the first pattern recognition receptor (PRR) to be identified.
Early recording of C-reactive protein may prove useful in detecting those good grade patients who are at greater risk of clinical deterioration and poor outcome in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage 2).