Inflammation Research

, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp 815–823 | Cite as

Regulation of C-reactive protein conformation in inflammation

  • ZhenYu Yao
  • Yanmin Zhang
  • HaiBin WuEmail author


C-reactive protein (CRP) is a non-specific diagnostic marker of inflammation and an evolutionarily conserved protein with roles in innate immune signaling. Natural CRP is composed of five identical globular subunits that form a pentamer, but the role of pentameric CRP (pCRP) during inflammatory pathogenesis remains controversial. Emerging evidence suggests that pCRP can be dissociated into monomeric CRP (mCRP) that has major roles in host defenses and inflammation. Here, we discuss our current knowledge of the dissociation mechanisms of pCRP and summarize the stepwise conformational transition model to mCRP to elucidate how CRP dissociation contributes to proinflammatory activity. These discussions will evoke new understanding of this ancient protein.


C-reactive protein Pentameric C-reactive protein Monomeric C-reactive protein Conformation Dissociation Inflammation 



The authors apologize to those whose articles have not been cited due to space limitations. This article was supported by Research Project of Xi’an Post-doctoral Innovative Base to Z. Yao, and Major Project of Xi’an Children’s Hospital (Grant No. 2018A05 to Z. Yao).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s Research Institute, Xi’an Key Laboratory of Children’s Health and Diseases, Affiliated Children HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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