Obesity associated molecular forms of c-reactive protein in human

Bela F. Asztalos, Michael S. Horan, Katalin V. Horvath, Ann Y. McDermott, Naga P. Chalasani, Ernst J. Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe novel C-reactive protein (CRP) molecular forms (mf) in human plasma.

Design and Methods: Five novel CRP-mfs, disctinct from the previously described native (nCRP) and modified (mCRP) Creactive proteins, were separated from human plasma by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunodetected by western blot in subjects with or without increased BMI, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and diabetes (n = 1800).

Results: Three of the five CRP-mfs were present in all samples. One, CRPmf-4, was present in a subgroup of subjects and its presence was associated with elevated body mass index (BMI). CRP-mf-5 was present in about 2% of the subjects and was not associated with any other parameters. The presence or distribution of the 5 CRP-mfs were not Ca2+-dependent. Crossed immuno-localization experiments indicated that none of the CRP-mfs were complexed with any of the lipoprotein classes or with signature proteins of the complement-factor. Moreover, the distribution of CRP-mfs were not significantly correlated with plasma CRP levels. CRP-mf-4 was significantly associated with increased BMI, but not with other parameters of the metabolic syndrome (HDL-C and triglyceride levels, and diabetes).

Conclusions: We have identified five new CRP-mfs out of which CRP-mf-4 was significantly associated with obesity. We have shown that oligomerization of CRP was not calcium dependent. We hypothesize that adipose tissue produces a factor which influences the formation of CRP mf-4. CRP-mfs might be used as an obesity-associated inflammatory marker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere109238
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 9 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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