Serum proteins - Definition

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Definition


Serum proteins are found in the blood plasma or serum, in other words the fluid constituent of blood. They perform a variety of different functions, including transport, defense of the body, regulation of the exchange of water between the blood and the surrounding tissues, and so on. Particular types of serum protein include albumin and different types of globulin. Serum protein electrophoresis, or SPEP, is a laboratory test consisting of separating these proteins into fractions in order to identify and quantify them. This analysis thus allows for the diagnosis of certain conditions associated with a change in the immune system, such as inflammatory syndromes or certain cancers, or abnormal spread or deficiencies of such.