June 1, 2021  |  

T-cell receptor profiling using PacBio sequencing of SMARTer libraries

T-cells play a central part in the immune response in humans and related species. T-cell receptors (TCRs), heterodimers located on the T-cell surface, specifically bind foreign antigens displayed on the MHC complex of antigen-presenting cells. The wide spectrum of potential antigens is addressed by the diversity of TCRs created by V(D)J recombination. Profiling this repertoire of TCRs could be useful from, but not limited to, diagnosis, monitoring response to treatments, and examining T-cell development and diversification.


September 22, 2019  |  

Gene activity in primary T cells infected with HIV89.6: intron retention and induction of genomic repeats.

HIV infection has been reported to alter cellular gene activity, but published studies have commonly assayed transformed cell lines and lab-adapted HIV strains, yielding inconsistent results. Here we carried out a deep RNA-Seq analysis of primary human T cells infected with the low passage HIV isolate HIV89.6.Seventeen percent of cellular genes showed altered activity 48 h after infection. In a meta-analysis including four other studies, our data differed from studies of HIV infection in cell lines but showed more parallels with infections of primary cells. We found a global trend toward retention of introns after infection, suggestive of a novel cellular response to infection. HIV89.6 infection was also associated with activation of several human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and retrotransposons, of interest as possible novel antigens that could serve as vaccine targets. The most highly activated group of HERVs was a subset of the ERV-9. Analysis showed that activation was associated with a particular variant of ERV-9 long terminal repeats that contains an indel near the U3-R border. These data also allowed quantification of >70 splice forms of the HIV89.6 RNA and specified the main types of chimeric HIV89.6-host RNAs. Comparison to over 100,000 integration site sequences from the same infected cell populations allowed quantification of authentic versus artifactual chimeric reads, showing that 5′ read-in, splicing out of HIV89.6 from the D4 donor and 3′ read-through were the most common HIV89.6-host cell chimeric RNA forms.Analysis of RNA abundance after infection of primary T cells with the low passage HIV89.6 isolate disclosed multiple novel features of HIV-host interactions, notably intron retention and induction of transcription of retrotransposons and endogenous retroviruses.


September 22, 2019  |  

Somatic hypermutation of T cell receptor a chain contributes to selection in nurse shark thymus.

Since the discovery of the T cell receptor (TcR), immunologists have assigned somatic hypermutation (SHM) as a mechanism employed solely by B cells to diversify their antigen receptors. Remarkably, we found SHM acting in the thymus on a chain locus of shark TcR. SHM in developing shark T cells likely is catalyzed by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and results in both point and tandem mutations that accumulate non-conservative amino acid replacements within complementarity-determining regions (CDRs). Mutation frequency at TcRa was as high as that seen at B cell receptor loci (BcR) in sharks and mammals, and the mechanism of SHM shares unique characteristics first detected at shark BcR loci. Additionally, fluorescence in situ hybridization showed the strongest AID expression in thymic corticomedullary junction and medulla. We suggest that TcRa utilizes SHM to broaden diversification of the primary aß T cell repertoire in sharks, the first reported use in vertebrates.© 2018, Ott et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

TCR sequencing of single cells reactive to DQ2.5-glia-a2 and DQ2.5-glia-?2 reveals clonal expansion and epitope-specific V-gene usage.

CD4+ T cells recognizing dietary gluten epitopes in the context of disease-associated human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 molecules are the key players in celiac disease pathogenesis. Here, we conducted a large-scale single-cell paired T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing study to characterize the TCR repertoire for two homologous immunodominant gluten epitopes, DQ2.5-glia-a2 and DQ2.5-glia-?2, in blood of celiac disease patients after oral gluten challenge. Despite sequence similarity of the epitopes, the TCR repertoires are unique but shared several overall features. We demonstrate that clonally expanded T cells dominate the T-cell responses to both epitopes. Moreover, we find V-gene bias of TRAV26, TRAV4, and TRBV7 in DQ2.5-glia-a2 reactive TCRs, while DQ2.5-glia-?2 TCRs displayed significant bias toward TRAV4 and TRBV4. The knowledge that antigen-specific TCR repertoire in chronic inflammatory diseases tends to be dominated by a few expanded clones that use the same TCR V-gene segments across patients is important information for HLA-associated diseases where the antigen is unknown.


July 19, 2019  |  

Selective graft-versus-leukemia depends on magnitude and diversity of the alloreactive T cell response.

Patients with leukemia who receive a T cell-depleted allogeneic stem cell graft followed by postponed donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) can experience graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) reactivity, with a lower risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Here, we have investigated the magnitude, diversity, and specificity of alloreactive CD8 T cells in patients who developed GVL reactivity after DLI in the absence or presence of GVHD. We observed a lower magnitude and diversity of CD8 T cells for minor histocompatibility antigens (MiHAs) in patients with selective GVL reactivity without GVHD. Furthermore, we demonstrated that MiHA-specific T cell clones from patients with selective GVL reactivity showed lower reactivity against nonhematopoietic cells, even when pretreated with inflammatory cytokines. Expression analysis of MiHA-encoding genes showed that similar types of antigens were recognized in both patient groups, but in patients who developed GVHD, T cell reactivity was skewed to target broadly expressed MiHAs. As an inflammatory environment can render nonhematopoietic cells susceptible to T cell recognition, prevention of such circumstances favors induction of selective GVL reactivity without development of GVHD.


July 19, 2019  |  

IG and TR single chain fragment variable (scFv) sequence analysis: a new advanced functionality of IMGT/V-QUEST and IMGT/HighV-QUEST.

IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system® ( http://www.imgt.org ), was created in 1989 in Montpellier, France (CNRS and Montpellier University) to manage the huge and complex diversity of the antigen receptors, and is at the origin of immunoinformatics, a science at the interface between immunogenetics and bioinformatics. Immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies and T cell receptors (TR) are managed and described in the IMGT® databases and tools at the level of receptor, chain and domain. The analysis of the IG and TR variable (V) domain rearranged nucleotide sequences is performed by IMGT/V-QUEST (online since 1997, 50 sequences per batch) and, for next generation sequencing (NGS), by IMGT/HighV-QUEST, the high throughput version of IMGT/V-QUEST (portal begun in 2010, 500,000 sequences per batch). In vitro combinatorial libraries of engineered antibody single chain Fragment variable (scFv) which mimic the in vivo natural diversity of the immune adaptive responses are extensively screened for the discovery of novel antigen binding specificities. However the analysis of NGS full length scFv (~850 bp) represents a challenge as they contain two V domains connected by a linker and there is no tool for the analysis of two V domains in a single chain.The functionality “Analyis of single chain Fragment variable (scFv)” has been implemented in IMGT/V-QUEST and, for NGS, in IMGT/HighV-QUEST for the analysis of the two V domains of IG and TR scFv. It proceeds in five steps: search for a first closest V-REGION, full characterization of the first V-(D)-J-REGION, then search for a second V-REGION and full characterization of the second V-(D)-J-REGION, and finally linker delimitation.For each sequence or NGS read, positions of the 5’V-DOMAIN, linker and 3’V-DOMAIN in the scFv are provided in the ‘V-orientated’ sense. Each V-DOMAIN is fully characterized (gene identification, sequence description, junction analysis, characterization of mutations and amino changes). The functionality is generic and can analyse any IG or TR single chain nucleotide sequence containing two V domains, provided that the corresponding species IMGT reference directory is available.The “Analysis of single chain Fragment variable (scFv)” implemented in IMGT/V-QUEST and, for NGS, in IMGT/HighV-QUEST provides the identification and full characterization of the two V domains of full-length scFv (~850 bp) nucleotide sequences from combinatorial libraries. The analysis can also be performed on concatenated paired chains of expressed antigen receptor IG or TR repertoires.


July 19, 2019  |  

The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) T cell receptor loci exhibit V subgroup synteny and chain-specific evolution.

The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has limited diversity in the immunoglobulin heavy chain. We therefore investigated the antigen receptor loci of the other arm of the adaptive immune system: the T cell receptor. Manatees are the first species from Afrotheria, a basal eutherian superorder, to have an in-depth characterization of all T cell receptor loci. By annotating the genome and expressed transcripts, we found that each chain has distinct features that correlates to their individual functions. The genomic organization also plays a role in modulating sequence conservation between species. There were extensive V subgroup synteny blocks in the TRA and TRB loci between T. m. latirostris and human. Increased genomic locus complexity correlated to increased locus synteny. We also identified evidence for a VHD pseudogene for the first time in a eutherian mammal. These findings emphasize the value of including species within this basal eutherian radiation in comparative studies. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


July 19, 2019  |  

High-Throughput Single-Cell Sequencing of both TCR-ß Alleles.

Allelic exclusion is a vital mechanism for the generation of monospecificity to foreign Ags in B and T lymphocytes. In this study, we developed a high-throughput barcoded method to simultaneously analyze the VDJ recombination status of both mouse TCR-ß alleles in hundreds of single cells using next-generation sequencing. Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic organization of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) T cell receptor alpha/delta locus and analysis of expressed products.

In testing the hypothesis that all jawed vertebrate classes employ immunoglobulin heavy chain V (IgHV) gene segments in their T cell receptor (TCR)d encoding loci, we found that some basic characterization was required of zebrafish TCRd. We began by annotating and characterizing the TCRa/d locus of Danio rerio based on the most recent genome assembly, GRCz10. We identified a total of 141 theoretically functional V segments which we grouped into 41 families based upon 70 % nucleotide identity. This number represents the second greatest count of apparently functional V genes thus far described in an antigen receptor locus with the exception of cattle TCRa/d. Cloning, relative quantitative PCR, and deep sequencing results corroborate that zebrafish do express TCRd, but these data suggest only at extremely low levels and in limited diversity in the spleens of the adult fish. While we found no evidence for IgH-TCRd rearrangements in this fish, by determining the locus organization we were able to suggest how the evolution of the teleost a/d locus could have lost IgHVs that exist in sharks and frogs. We also found evidence of surprisingly low TCRd expression and repertoire diversity in this species.


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