Ancient Use of Ig Variable Domains Contributes Significantly to the TCRδ Repertoire.
ABSTRACT: The loci encoding B and T cell Ag receptors are generally distinct in commonly studied mammals, with each receptor's gene segments limited to intralocus, cis chromosomal rearrangements. The nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) represents the oldest vertebrate class, the cartilaginous fish, with adaptive immunity provided via Ig and TCR lineages, and is one species among a growing number of taxa employing Ig-TCRδ rearrangements that blend these distinct lineages. Analysis of the nurse shark Ig-TCRδ repertoire found that these rearrangements possess CDR3 characteristics highly similar to canonical TCRδ rearrangements. Furthermore, the Ig-TCRδ rearrangements are expressed with TCRγ, canonically found in the TCRδ heterodimer. We also quantified BCR and TCR transcripts in the thymus for BCR (IgHV-IgHC), chimeric (IgHV-TCRδC), and canonical (TCRδV-TCRδC) transcripts, finding equivalent expression levels in both thymus and spleen. We also characterized the nurse shark TCRαδ locus with a targeted bacterial artifical chromosome sequencing approach and found that the TCRδ locus houses a complex of V segments from multiple lineages. An IgH-like V segment, nestled within the nurse shark TCRδ translocus, grouped with IgHV-like rearrangements we found expressed with TCRδ (but not IgH) rearrangements in our phylogenetic analysis. This distinct lineage of TCRδ-associated IgH-like V segments was termed "TAILVs." Our data illustrate a dynamic TCRδ repertoire employing TCRδVs, NARTCRVs, bona fide trans-rearrangements from shark IgH clusters, and a novel lineage in the TCRδ-associated Ig-like V segments.
Project description:In addition to canonical TCR and BCR, cartilaginous fish assemble noncanonical TCR that employ various B-cell components. For example, shark T cells associate alpha (TCR-?) or delta (TCR-?) constant (C) regions with Ig heavy chain (H) variable (V) segments or TCR-associated Ig-like V (TAILV) segments to form chimeric IgV-TCR, and combine TCR?C with both Ig-like and TCR-like V segments to form the doubly rearranging NAR-TCR. Activation-induced (cytidine) deaminase-catalyzed somatic hypermutation (SHM), typically used for B-cell affinity maturation, also is used by TCR-? during selection in the shark thymus presumably to salvage failing receptors. Here, we found that the use of SHM by nurse shark TCR varies depending on the particular V segment or C region used. First, SHM significantly alters alpha/delta V (TCR??V) segments using TCR ?C but not ?C. Second, mutation to IgHV segments associated with TCR ?C was reduced compared to mutation to TCR ??V associated with TCR ?C. Mutation was present but limited in V segments of all other TCR chains including NAR-TCR. Unexpectedly, we found preferential rearrangement of the noncanonical IgHV-TCR?C over canonical TCR ??V-TCR?C receptors. The differential use of SHM may reveal how activation-induced (cytidine) deaminase targets V regions.
Project description:Cartilaginous fish are the oldest animals that generate RAG-based Ag receptor diversity. We have analyzed the genes and expressed transcripts of the four TCR chains for the first time in a cartilaginous fish, the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). Northern blotting found TCR mRNA expression predominantly in lymphoid and mucosal tissues. Southern blotting suggested translocon-type loci encoding all four chains. Based on diversity of V and J segments, the expressed combinatorial diversity for gamma is similar to that of human, alpha and beta may be slightly lower, and delta diversity is the highest of any organism studied to date. Nurse shark TCRdelta have long CDR3 loops compared with the other three chains, creating binding site topologies comparable to those of mammalian TCR in basic paratope structure; additionally, nurse shark TCRdelta CDR3 are more similar to IgH CDR3 in length and heterogeneity than to other TCR chains. Most interestingly, several cDNAs were isolated that contained IgM or IgW V segments rearranged to other gene segments of TCRdelta and alpha. Finally, in situ hybridization experiments demonstrate a conservation of both alpha/beta and gamma/delta T cell localization in the thymus across 450 million years of vertebrate evolution, with gamma/delta TCR expression especially high in the subcapsular region. Collectively, these data make the first cellular identification of TCR-expressing lymphocytes in a cartilaginous fish.
Project description:Individual variation in the Ig germline gene repertoire leads to individual differences in the combinatorial diversity of the Ab repertoire, but the study of such variation has been problematic. The application of high-throughput DNA sequencing to the study of rearranged Ig genes now makes this possible. The sequencing of thousands of VDJ rearrangements from an individual, either from genomic DNA or expressed mRNA, should allow their germline IGHV, IGHD, and IGHJ repertoires to be inferred. In addition, where previously mere glimpses of diversity could be gained from sequencing studies, new large data sets should allow the rearrangement frequency of different genes and alleles to be seen with clarity. We analyzed the DNA of 108,210 human IgH chain rearrangements from 12 individuals and determined their individual IGH genotypes. The number of reportedly functional IGHV genes and allelic variants ranged from 45 to 60, principally because of variable levels of gene heterozygosity, and included 14 previously unreported IGHV polymorphisms. New polymorphisms of the IGHD3-16 and IGHJ6 genes were also seen. At heterozygous loci, remarkably different rearrangement frequencies were seen for the various IGHV alleles, and these frequencies were consistent between individuals. The specific alleles that make up an individual's Ig genotype may therefore be critical in shaping the combinatorial repertoire. The extent of genotypic variation between individuals is highlighted by an individual with aplastic anemia who appears to lack six contiguous IGHD genes on both chromosomes. These deletions significantly alter the potential expressed IGH repertoire, and possibly immune function, in this individual.
Project description:The IgM H chain gene organization of cartilaginous fishes consists of 15-200 miniloci, each with a few gene segments (V(H)-D1-D2-J(H)) and one C gene. This is a gene arrangement ancestral to the complex IgH locus that exists in all other vertebrate classes. To understand the molecular evolution of this system, we studied the nurse shark, which has relatively fewer loci, and characterized the IgH isotypes for organization, functionality, and the somatic diversification mechanisms that act upon them. Gene numbers differ slightly between individuals ( approximately 15), but five active IgM subclasses are always present. Each gene undergoes rearrangement that is strictly confined within the minilocus; in B cells there is no interaction between adjacent loci located > or =120 kb apart. Without combinatorial events, the shark IgM H chain repertoire is based on junctional diversity and, subsequently, somatic hypermutation. We suggest that the significant contribution by junctional diversification reflects the selected novelty introduced by RAG in the early vertebrate ancestor, whereas combinatorial diversity coevolved with the complex translocon organization. Moreover, unlike other cartilaginous fishes, there are no germline-joined VDJ at any nurse shark mu locus, and we suggest that such genes, when functional, are species-specific and may have specialized roles. With an entire complement of IgM genes available for the first time, phylogenetic analyses were performed to examine how the multiple Ig loci evolved. We found that all domains changed at comparable rates, but V(H) appears to be under strong positive selection for increased amino acid sequence diversity, and surprisingly, so does Cmicro2.
Project description:Immunoglobulins (Ig) are produced by B lymphocytes as secreted antibodies or as part of the B-cell receptor. There is tremendous diversity of potential Ig transcripts (>1 × 10(12)) as a result of hundreds of germ-line gene segments, random nucleotide incorporation during joining of gene segments into a complete transcript, and the process of somatic hypermutation at individual nucleotides. This recombination and mutation process takes place in the maturing B cell and is responsible for the diversity of potential epitope recognition. Cancers arising from mature B cells are characterized by clonal production of Ig heavy (IGH@) and light chain transcripts, although whether the sequence has undergone somatic hypermutation is dependent on the maturation stage at which the neoplastic clone arose. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in adults and arises from a mature B cell with either mutated or unmutated IGH@ transcripts, the latter having worse prognosis and the assessment of which is routinely performed in the clinic. Currently, IGHV mutation status is assessed by Sanger sequencing and comparing the transcript to known germ-line genes. In this paper, we demonstrate that complete IGH@ V-D-J sequences can be computed from unselected RNA-seq reads with results equal or superior to the clinical procedure: in the only discordant case, the clinical transcript was out-of-frame. Therefore, a single RNA-seq assay can simultaneously yield gene expression profile, SNP and mutation information, as well as IGHV mutation status, and may one day be performed as a general test to capture multidimensional clinically relevant data in CLL.
Project description:We have developed a new bioinformatics framework for the analysis of rearranged bovine heavy chain immunoglobulin (Ig) variable regions by combining and refining widely used alignment algorithms. This bioinformatics framework allowed us to investigate alignments of heavy chain framework regions (FRHs) and the separate alignments of FRHs and heavy chain complementarity determining regions (CDRHs) to determine their germline origin in the four cattle breeds Aubrac, German Black Pied, German Simmental, and Holstein Friesian. Now it is also possible to specifically analyze Ig heavy chains possessing exceptionally long CDR3Hs. In order to gain more insight into breed specific differences in Ig combinatorial diversity, somatic hypermutations and putative gene conversions of IgG, we compared the dominantly transcribed variable (IGHV), diversity (IGHD), and joining (IGHJ) segments and their recombination in the four cattle breeds. The analysis revealed the use of 15 different IGHV segments, 21 IGHD segments, and two IGHJ segments with significant different transcription levels within the breeds. Furthermore, there are preferred rearrangements within the three groups of CDR3H lengths. In the sequences of group 2 (CDR3H lengths (L) of 11-47 amino acid residues (aa)) a higher number of recombination was observed than in sequences of group 1 (L?10 aa) and 3 (L?48 aa). The combinatorial diversity of germline IGHV, IGHD, and IGHJ-segments revealed 162 rearrangements that were significantly different. The few preferably rearranged gene segments within group 3 CDR3H regions may indicate specialized antibodies because this length is unique in cattle. The most important finding of this study, which was enabled by using the bioinformatics framework, is the discovery of strong evidence for gene conversion as a rare event using pseudogenes fulfilling all definitions for this particular diversification mechanism.
Project description:The rabbit has long been a model for studies of the immune system. Work using rabbits contributed both to the battle against infectious diseases such as rabies and syphilis, and to our knowledge, of antibodies' structure, function, and regulated expression. With the description of rabbit Ig allotypes, the discovery of different gene segments encoding immunoglobulins became possible. This challenged the "one gene-one protein" dogma. The observation that rabbit allotypic specificities of the variable regions were present on IgM and IgG molecules also led to the hypothesis of Ig class switching. Rabbit allotypes contributed to the documentation of phenomena such as allelic exclusion and imbalance in production of allelic gene products. During the last 30 years, the rabbit Ig allotypes revealed a number of unique features, setting them apart from mice, humans, and other mammals. Here, we review the most relevant findings concerning the rabbit IGHV. Among these are the preferential usage of one VH gene in VDJ rearrangements, the existence of trans-species polymorphism in the IGHV locus revealed by serology and confirmed by sequencing IGHV genes in Lepus, the unusually large genetic distances between allelic lineages and the fact that the antibody repertoire is diversified in this species only after birth. The whole genome sequence of a rabbit, plus re-sequencing of additional strains and related genera, will allow further evolutionary investigations of antibody variation. Continued research will help define the roles that genetic, allelic, and population diversity at antibody loci may play in host-parasite interactions.
Project description:The existence of many highly similar genes in the lymphocyte receptor gene loci makes them difficult to investigate, and the determination of phased "haplotypes" has been particularly problematic. However, V(D)J gene rearrangements provide an opportunity to infer the association of Ig genes along the chromosomes. The chromosomal distribution of H chain genes in an Ig genotype can be inferred through analysis of VDJ rearrangements in individuals who are heterozygous at points within the IGH locus. We analyzed VDJ rearrangements from 44 individuals for whom sufficient unique rearrangements were available to allow comprehensive genotyping. Nine individuals were identified who were heterozygous at the IGHJ6 locus and for whom sufficient suitable VDJ rearrangements were available to allow comprehensive haplotyping. Each of the 18 resulting IGHV?IGHD?IGHJ haplotypes was unique. Apparent deletion polymorphisms were seen that involved as many as four contiguous, functional IGHV genes. Two deletion polymorphisms involving multiple contiguous IGHD genes were also inferred. Three previously unidentified gene duplications were detected, where two sequences recognized as allelic variants of a single gene were both inferred to be on a single chromosome. Phased genomic data brings clarity to the study of the contribution of each gene to the available repertoire of rearranged VDJ genes. Analysis of rearrangement frequencies suggests that particular genes may have substantially different yet predictable propensities for rearrangement within different haplotypes. Together with data highlighting the extent of haplotypic variation within the population, this suggests that there may be substantial variability in the available Ab repertoires of different individuals.
Project description:The adaptive immune system depends on specific antigen receptors, immunoglobulins (Ig) in B lymphocytes and T cell receptors (TCR) in T lymphocytes. Adaptive responses to immune challenge are based on the expression of a single species of antigen receptor per cell; and in B cells, this is mediated in part by allelic exclusion at the Ig heavy (H) chain locus. How allelic exclusion is regulated is unclear; we considered that sharks, the oldest vertebrates possessing the Ig/TCR-based immune system, would yield insights not previously approachable and reveal the primordial basis of the regulation of allelic exclusion. Sharks have an IgH locus organization consisting of 15-200 independently rearranging miniloci (VH-D1-D2-JH-Cmu), a gene organization that is considered ancestral to the tetrapod and bony fish IgH locus. We found that rearrangement takes place only within a minilocus, and the recombining gene segments are assembled simultaneously and randomly. Only one or few H chain genes were fully rearranged in each shark B cell, whereas the other loci retained their germline configuration. In contrast, most IgH were partially rearranged in every thymocyte (developing T cell) examined, but no IgH transcripts were detected. The distinction between B and T cells in their IgH configurations and transcription reveals a heretofore unsuspected chromatin state permissive for rearrangement in precursor lymphocytes, and suggests that controlled limitation of B cell lineage-specific factors mediate regulated rearrangement and allelic exclusion. This regulation may be shared by higher vertebrates in which additional mechanistic and regulatory elements have evolved with their structurally complex IgH locus.
Project description:The pathogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM) is thought to involve at least two pathways, which generate hyperdiploid (HRD) or nonhyperdiploid (NHRD) tumors, respectively. Apart from chromosome content, the two pathways are distinguished by five primary immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH) rearrangements (4p16, FGFR3, and MMSET; 6p21, CCND3; 11q13, CCND1; 16q23, MAF; 20q12, MAFB) that are present mainly in NHRD tumors. To determine the prevalence and structures of IGH, immunoglobulin (IG) light chain, and MYC genomic rearrangements in MM, we have done comprehensive metaphase fluorescent in situ hybridization analyses on 48 advanced MM tumors and 47 MM cell lines. As expected, the prevalence of the five primary IGH rearrangements was nearly 70% in NHRD tumors, but only 12% in HRD tumors. However, IGH rearrangements not involving one of the five primary partners, and IG light chain rearrangements, have a similar prevalence in HRD and NHRD tumors. In addition, MYC rearrangements, which are thought to be late progression events that sometimes do not involve an IG heavy or light chain locus, also have a similar prevalence in HRD and NHRD tumors. In contrast to the primary IGH rearrangements, which usually are simple balanced translocations, these other IG rearrangements usually have complex structures, as previously described for MYC rearrangements in MM. We conclude that IG light chain and MYC rearrangements, as well as secondary IGH rearrangements, make similar contributions to the progression of both HRD and NHRD MM tumors.