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High-throughput sequencing of the T-cell receptor repertoire: pitfalls and opportunities.

Heather, JM; Ismail, M; Oakes, T; Chain, B; (2017) High-throughput sequencing of the T-cell receptor repertoire: pitfalls and opportunities. Brief Bioinform 10.1093/bib/bbw138. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

T-cell specificity is determined by the T-cell receptor, a heterodimeric protein coded for by an extremely diverse set of genes produced by imprecise somatic gene recombination. Massively parallel high-throughput sequencing allows millions of different T-cell receptor genes to be characterized from a single sample of blood or tissue. However, the extraordinary heterogeneity of the immune repertoire poses significant challenges for subsequent analysis of the data. We outline the major steps in processing of repertoire data, considering low-level processing of raw sequence files and high-level algorithms, which seek to extract biological or pathological information. The latest generation of bioinformatics tools allows millions of DNA sequences to be accurately and rapidly assigned to their respective variable V and J gene segments, and to reconstruct an almost error-free representation of the non-templated additions and deletions that occur. High-level processing can measure the diversity of the repertoire in different samples, quantify V and J usage and identify private and public T-cell receptors. Finally, we discuss the major challenge of linking T-cell receptor sequence to function, and specifically to antigen recognition. Sophisticated machine learning algorithms are being developed that can combine the paradoxical degeneracy and cross-reactivity of individual T-cell receptors with the specificity of the overall T-cell immune response. Computational analysis will provide the key to unlock the potential of the T-cell receptor repertoire to give insight into the fundamental biology of the adaptive immune system and to provide powerful biomarkers of disease.

Type: Article
Title: High-throughput sequencing of the T-cell receptor repertoire: pitfalls and opportunities.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbw138
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbw138
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: T-cell receptor, generation of diversity, high-throughput sequencing, immune repertoire, personalized biomarkers, somatic recombination
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1544953
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