Protein C, a part of the natural anticoagulant system, is a vitamin K-dependent protein zymogen (molecular weight=62,000 da) that is synthesized in the liver and circulates at a plasma concentration of approximately 5 mcg/mL. Protein C is activated to activated protein C (APC) via proteolytic cleavage by thrombin bound to thrombomodulin, an endothelial cell surface membrane protein. APC downregulates the procoagulant system by proteolytically inactivating procoagulant factors Va and VIIIa. Protein S, another vitamin K-dependent coagulation protein, catalyzes APC inactivation of factors Va and VIIIa. APC interacts with and proteolyses factors V/Va and VIII/VIIIa at specific APC binding and cleavage sites, respectively. Resistance to activated protein C (APC resistance) is a term used to describe abnormal resistance of human plasma to the anticoagulant effects of human APC. APC resistance is characterized by a reduced anticoagulant response of patient plasma after adding a standard amount of APC. For this assay, the activated partial thromboplastin time clotting test fails to prolong significantly after the addition of APC.