Sequence and Structural Analyses Reveal Distinct and Highly Diverse Human CD8+ TCR Repertoires to Immunodominant Viral Antigens.
ABSTRACT: A diverse T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire is essential for controlling viral infections. However, information about TCR repertoires to defined viral antigens is limited. We performed a comprehensive analysis of CD8+ TCR repertoires for two dominant viral epitopes: pp65495-503 (NLV) of cytomegalovirus and M158-66 (GIL) of influenza A virus. The highly individualized repertoires (87-5,533 ? or ? clonotypes per subject) comprised thousands of unique TCR? and TCR? sequences and dozens of distinct complementary determining region (CDR)3? and CDR3? motifs. However, diversity is effectively restricted by preferential V-J combinations, CDR3 lengths, and CDR3?/CDR3? pairings. Structures of two GIL-specific TCRs bound to GIL-HLA-A2 provided a potential explanation for the lower diversity of GIL-specific versus NLV-specific repertoires. These anti-viral TCRs occupied up to 3.4% of the CD8+ TCR? repertoire, ensuring broad T cell responses to single epitopes. Our portrait of two anti-viral TCR repertoires may inform the development of predictors of immune protection.
Project description:Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a ubiquitous and persistent human pathogen that is kept in check by CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Individuals expressing the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecule HLA-A2 produce cytotoxic T lymphocytes bearing T cell receptors (TCRs) that recognize the immunodominant CMV epitope NLVPMVATV (NLV). The NLV-specific T cell repertoire is characterized by a high prevalence of TCRs that are frequently observed in multiple unrelated individuals. These public TCRs feature identical, or nearly identical, complementarity-determining region 3? (CDR3?) and/or CDR3? sequences. The TCRs may express public CDR3? motifs alone, public CDR3? motifs alone, or dual public CDR3?? motifs. In addition, the same public CDR3? motif may pair with different CDR3? motifs (and the reverse), giving rise to highly diverse NLV-specific TCR repertoires. To investigate the structural underpinnings of this clonal diversity, we determined crystal structures of two public TCRs (C7 and C25) in complex with NLV·HLA-A2. These TCRs utilize completely different CDR3? and CDR3? motifs that, in addition, can associate with multiple variable ? and variable ? regions in NLV-specific T cell repertoires. The C7·NLV·HLA-A2 and C25·NLV·HLA-A2 complexes exhibit divergent TCR footprints on peptide-MHC such that C25 is more focused on the central portion of the NLV peptide than is C7. These structures combined with molecular modeling show how the public CDR3? motif of C25 may associate with different variable ? regions and how the public CDR3? motif of C7 may pair with different CDR3? motifs. This interchangeability of TCR V regions and CDR3 motifs permits multiple structural solutions to binding an identical peptide-MHC ligand and thereby the generation of a clonally diverse public T cell response to CMV.
Project description:The ?? T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire on mature T cells is selected in the thymus, but the basis for thymic selection of MHC-restricted TCRs from a randomly generated pre-selection repertoire is not known. Here we perform comparative repertoire sequence analyses of pre-selection and post-selection TCR from multiple MHC-sufficient and MHC-deficient mouse strains, and find that MHC-restricted and MHC-independent TCRs are primarily distinguished by features in their non-germline CDR3 regions, with many pre-selection CDR3 sequences not compatible with MHC-binding. Thymic selection of MHC-independent TCR is largely unconstrained, but the selection of MHC-specific TCR is restricted by both CDR3 length and specific amino acid usage. MHC-restriction disfavors TCR with CDR3 longer than 13 amino acids, limits positively charged and hydrophobic amino acids in CDR3?, and clonally deletes TCRs with cysteines in their CDR3 peptide-binding regions. Together, these MHC-imposed structural constraints form the basis to shape VDJ recombination sequences into MHC-restricted repertoires.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Repertoire sequencing is enabling deep explorations into the cellular immune response, including the characterization of commonalities and differences among T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires from different individuals, pathologies, and antigen specificities. In seeking to understand the generality of patterns observed in different groups of TCRs, it is necessary to balance how well each pattern represents the diversity among TCRs from one group (sensitivity) vs. how many TCRs from other groups it also represents (specificity). The variable complementarity determining regions (CDRs), particularly the third CDRs (CDR3s) interact with major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-presented epitopes from putative antigens, and thus encode the determinants of recognition. RESULTS:We here systematically characterize the predictive power that can be obtained from CDR3 sequences, using representative, readily interpretable methods for evaluating CDR sequence similarity and then clustering and classifying sequences based on similarity. An initial analysis of CDR3s of known structure, clustered by structural similarity, helps calibrate the limits of sequence diversity among CDRs that might have a common mode of interaction with presented epitopes. Subsequent analyses demonstrate that this same range of sequence similarity strikes a favorable specificity/sensitivity balance in distinguishing twins from non-twins based on overall CDR3 repertoires, classifying CDR3 repertoires by antigen specificity, and distinguishing general pathologies. CONCLUSION:We conclude that within a fairly broad range of sequence similarity, matching CDR3 sequences are likely to share specificities.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Alterations in memory CD8 T cell responses may contribute to the high morbidity and mortality caused by seasonal influenza A virus (IAV) infections in older individuals. We questioned whether memory CD8 responses to this nonpersistent virus, to which recurrent exposure with new strains is common, changed over time with increasing age. Here, we show a direct correlation between increasing age and narrowing of the HLA-A2-restricted IAV V? and V? T cell repertoires specific to M1 residues 58 to 66 (M158-66), which simultaneously lead to oligoclonal expansions, including the usage of a single identical VA12-JA29 clonotype in all eight older donors. The V? repertoire of older individuals also had longer CDR3 regions with increased usage of G/A runs, whose molecular flexibility may enhance T cell receptor (TCR) promiscuity. Collectively, these results suggest that CD8 memory T cell responses to nonpersistent viruses like IAV in humans are dynamic, and with aging there is a reduced diversity but a preferential retention of T cell repertoires with features of enhanced cross-reactivity.<h4>Importance</h4>With increasing age, the immune system undergoes drastic changes, and older individuals have declined resistance to infections. Vaccinations become less effective, and infection with influenza A virus in older individuals is associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Here, we questioned whether T cell responses directed against the highly conserved HLA-A2-restricted M158-66 peptide of IAV evolves with increasing age. Specifically, we postulated that CD8 T cell repertoires narrow with recurrent exposure and may thus be less efficient in response to new infections with new strains of IAV. Detailed analyses of the VA and VB TCR repertoires simultaneously showed a direct correlation between increasing age and narrowing of the TCR repertoire. Features of the TCRs indicated potentially enhanced cross-reactivity in all older donors. In summary, T cell repertoire analysis in older individuals may be useful as one of the predictors of protection after vaccination.
Project description:??T cell receptor (TCR) genetic diversity is outnumbered by the quantity of pathogenic epitopes to be recognized. To provide efficient protective anti-viral immunity, a single TCR ideally needs to cross-react with a multitude of pathogenic epitopes. However, the frequency, extent, and mechanisms of TCR cross-reactivity remain unclear, with conflicting results on anti-viral T cell cross-reactivity observed in humans. Namely, both the presence and lack of T cell cross-reactivity have been reported with HLA-A*02:01-restricted epitopes from the Epstein-Barr and influenza viruses (BMLF-1 and M158, respectively) or with the hepatitis C and influenza viruses (NS31073 and NA231, respectively). Given the high sequence similarity of these paired viral epitopes (56 and 88%, respectively), the ubiquitous nature of the three viruses, and the high frequency of the HLA-A*02:01 allele, we selected these epitopes to establish the extent of T cell cross-reactivity. We combined ex vivo and in vitro functional assays, single-cell ??TCR repertoire sequencing, and structural analysis of these four epitopes in complex with HLA-A*02:01 to determine whether they could lead to heterologous T cell cross-reactivity. Our data show that sequence similarity does not translate to structural mimicry of the paired epitopes in complexes with HLA-A*02:01, resulting in induction of distinct ??TCR repertoires. The differences in epitope architecture might be an obstacle for TCR recognition, explaining the lack of T cell cross-reactivity observed. In conclusion, sequence similarity does not necessarily result in structural mimicry, and despite the need for cross-reactivity, antigen-specific TCR repertoires can remain highly specific.
Project description:The majority of human CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes express ?? T-cell receptors that recognize peptide-MHC class I complexes. Considerable attention has been devoted to TCR ? repertoires, but study of TCR ? chains has been limited. To gain a better understanding of the features of CDR3? and CDR3? in paired samples, we comprehensively analyzed 776 unique paired ?? TCR CDR3 regions in this study. We found that (I) the CDR3 length among paired ?? TCRs had a fairly narrow distribution due to random assortment of CDR3 length in alpha and beta chains; (II) nucleotide deletions among CDR3 regions were positively correlated with insertions in both ? and ? TCRs; (III) the CDR3 loops of both ? and ? chains contained an abundance of charged/polar residues and the CDR3 base regions contained a conserved motif; and (IV) the occurrence of Gly was CDR3 length- and position-dependent in both chains, whereas the frequency of Ser at positions 106 and 107 was positively correlated with CDR3 length in TCR ?. Overall, the amino acids in CDR3 loop regions were significantly different between TCR ? and ?, which suggests a distinct role for each chain in the recognition of antigen-MHC complexes. Here, we have provided detailed information on CDR3 in paired TCRs expressed on human CD8+ T cells and established the basis of a reference set for ?? TCR repertoires in healthy humans.
Project description:In this study we characterized the TCR repertoire profiles in patients with chronic progressive inflammatory neurological disorders including HAM/TSP, associated with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) infection, and multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the CNS of unknown etiology. We hypothesized that a T-cell receptor (TCR) clonal repertoire 'signature' could distinguish HAM/TSP patients from healthy controls, as well as from patients with a more heterogeneous CNS-reactive inflammatory disease such as MS. In this study, we applied an unbiased molecular technique - unique molecular identifier (UMI) library-based strategy to investigate with high accuracy the TCR clonal repertoire by high throughput sequencing (HTS) technology. cDNA-TCR ?-chain libraries were sequenced from 2 million peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in 14 HAM/TSP patients, 34 MS patients and 20 healthy controls (HC). While HAM/TSP patients showed a higher clonal T-cell expansion compared to MS and HC, increase of the TCR clonal expansion was inversely correlated with the diversity of TCR repertoire in all subjects. In addition, longitudinal analysis of TCR repertoires from HAM/TSP patients demonstrated a correlation of the TCR clonal expansion with HTLV-I proviral load. Surprisingly, MS patients showed a higher diversity of TCR repertoires than other groups. Despite higher TCR clonal expansions in HAM/TSP patients, no disease-specific TCRs were shared among patients. Only non-shared or "private" TCR repertoires was observed. While no clones that shared the same CDR3 amino acid sequences were seen in either HC or MS patients, there was a cluster of related CDR3 amino acid sequences observed for 18 out of 34 MS patients when evaluated by phylogenetic tree analysis. This suggests that a TCR-repertoire signature may be identified in a subset of patients with MS.
Project description:T-cell receptor (TCR) usage has an important role in determining the outcome of CD8(+) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses to viruses and other pathogens. However, the characterization of TCR usage from which such conclusions are drawn is based on exclusive analysis of either the TCR? chain or, more commonly, the TCR? chain. Here, we have used a multiplexed reverse transcription-PCR protocol to analyse the CDR3 regions of both TCR? and ? chains from single naive or immune epitope-specific cells to provide a comprehensive picture of epitope-specific TCR usage and selection into the immune response. Analysis of TCR repertoires specific for three influenza-derived epitopes (D(b)NP(366), D(b)PA(224) and D(b)PB1-F2(62)) showed preferential usage of particular TCR?? proteins in the immune repertoire relative to the naive repertoire, in some cases, resulting in a complete shift in TRBV preference or CDR3 length, and restricted repertoire diversity. The NP(366)-specific TCR?? repertoire, previously defined as clonally restricted based on TCR? analysis, was similarly diverse as the PA(224)- and PB1-F2(62)-specific repertoires. Intriguingly, preferred TCR characteristics (variable gene usage, CDR3 length and junctional gene usage) appeared to be able to confer specificity either independently or in concert with one another, depending on the epitope specificity. These data have implications for established correlations between the nature of the TCR repertoire and response outcomes after infection, and suggest that analysis of a subset of cells or a single TCR chain does not accurately depict the nature of the antigen-specific TCR?? repertoire.
Project description:For thymic selection and responses to pathogens, T cells interact through their αβ T cell receptor (TCR) with peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on antigen-presenting cells. How the diverse TCRs interact with a multitude of MHC molecules is unresolved. It is also unclear how humans generate larger TCR repertoires than mice do. We compared the TCR repertoire of CD4 T cells selected from a single mouse or human MHC class II (MHC II) in mice containing the human TCR gene loci. Human MHC II yielded greater thymic output and a more diverse TCR repertoire. The complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) length adjusted for different inherent V-segment affinities to MHC II. Humans evolved with greater nontemplate-encoded CDR3 diversity than did mice. Our data, which demonstrate human TCR-MHC coevolution after divergence from rodents, explain the greater T cell diversity in humans and suggest a mechanism for ensuring that any V-J gene combination can be selected by a single MHC II.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Myositis, or idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM), is a group disorders of unknown etiology characterized by the inflammation of skeletal muscle. The role of T cells and their antigenic targets in IIM initiation and progression is poorly understood. T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing is a powerful approach for characterizing complex T cell responses. However, current TCR sequencing methodologies are complex, expensive, or both, greatly limiting the scale of feasible studies. METHODS:Here we present Framework Region 3 AmplifiKation sequencing ("FR3AK-seq"), a simplified multiplex PCR-based approach for the ultra-efficient and quantitative analysis of TCR complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) repertoires. By using minimal primer sets targeting a conserved region immediately upstream of CDR3, undistorted amplicons are analyzed via short read, single-end sequencing. We also introduce the novel algorithm Inferring Sequences via Efficiency Projection and Primer Incorporation ("ISEPPI") for linking CDR3s to their associated variable genes. FINDINGS:We find that FR3AK-seq is sensitive and quantitative, performing comparably to two different industry standards. FR3AK-seq and ISEPPI were used to efficiently and inexpensively characterize the T cell infiltrates of surgical muscle biopsies obtained from 145 patients with IIM and controls. A cluster of closely related TCRs was identified in samples from patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM). INTERPRETATION:The ease and minimal cost of FR3AK-seq removes critical barriers to routine, large-scale TCR CDR3 repertoire analyses, thereby democratizing the quantitative assessment of human TCR repertoires in disease-relevant target tissues. Importantly, discovery of closely related TCRs in muscle from patients with IBM provides evidence for a shared antigen-driven T cell response in this disease of unknown pathogenesis. FUNDING:This work was supported by NIH grant U24AI118633 and a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.