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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00299

Shorter TCR β-chains are highly enriched during thymic selection and antigen-driven selection

Xianliang Hou1, Ping Zeng1, Xujun Zhang1, Jianing Chen1, Yan liang1, Jiezuan Yang1, Yida Yang1, Xiangdong Liu2 and  Hongyan Diao1, 3*
  • 1State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Collaborative Innovation center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China
  • 2College of Materials and Textile, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, China
  • 3First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China

The adaptive immune system uses several strategies to generate a repertoire of T cell receptors (TCR) with sufficient diversity to recognize the universe of potential pathogens. However, it remains unclear how differences in the T cell receptor (TCR) contribute to heterogeneity in T cell state. In this study, we used polychromatic flow cytometry to isolate highly pure CD4+/CD8+ naive and memory T cells, and applied deep sequencing to characterize corresponding TCR β-chain (TCRβ) complementary-determining region 3 (CDR3) repertoires. We find that shorter TCRβ CDR3s with fewer insertions were highly enriched during thymic selection. Antigen-experienced T cells (memory T cells) harbour shorter CDR3s versus naive T cells. Moreover, the public TCRβ CDR3 clonotypes within cell subsets or interindividual tend to have shorter CDR3 length and a significantly larger size compared with “private” clonotypes. Taken together, shorter CDR3s highly enriched during thymic selection and antigen-driven selection, and further enriched in public T-cell responses. These results indicated that it may be evolutionary pressures drive short CDR3s to recognize most of antigen in nature.

Keywords: T cell receptor, Cell subsets, Deep sequencing, memory T cell, naive T cell

Received: 31 Oct 2018; Accepted: 05 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Remy Bosselut, National Cancer Institute (NCI), United States

Reviewed by:

Linrong Lu, Zhejiang University, China
Thomas Ciucci, National Cancer Institute (NCI), United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Hou, Zeng, Zhang, Chen, liang, Yang, Yang, Liu and Diao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Hongyan Diao, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, diaohy@zju.edu.cn