Biomarker assays have become more widely used over the years due to their role in drug discovery and development. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an acute-phase protein synthesized by the liver and released in response to tissue injury, infection or inflammation (1). CRP is an annular (ring-shaped), pentameric protein which level increases following interleukin-6 secretion by macrophages and T cells. Its physiological role is to bind to lysophosphatidylcholine 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 (2).
Up to now CRP has been quantified using ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay), but alternative
methodology is being explored to facilitate the integration of CRP analysis in toxicology studies.
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1. Du Clos T. W. Annals of Medicine, 2000, 32(4): 274-8
2. Thompson D. et al. Structure. 1999; 7(2): 169-177