Research Topic

High-throughput molecular studies of the adaptive immune functional response

About this Research Topic

Recent advances in high-throughput biological techniques have provided major growth in our ability to characterize cellular and serological immune data. The rapidly expanding scope of information accelerating our comprehensive understanding of immune functional features, with studies of both human populations and animal models.

Adaptive immune responses can specifically target external antigens including viral, parasitic, bacterial, and tumor cell surface and internal proteins, or may also recognize protein therapeutics or self-proteins in autoimmune settings. The adaptive immune system is closely linked to the generation of immune responses and immune memory, both via T cell receptor (TCR) and B cell receptor (BCR) & antibody interactions. These immune receptors can show varying degrees of specificity and cross-reactivity against their respective peptide:MHC and antigen targets, respectively. The functional features of the adaptive immune receptors and molecules must be characterized for a robust analysis of adaptive immune performance, with major implications for basic immunology, vaccine development, drug discovery, and clinical monitoring of immune response in health and disease. Functional performance features may include but are not limited to binding specificity, binding affinity, cross-reactivity, polyreactivity, neutralization (for antibodies), cellular activation & cell killing capacity (for CD8+ T cell receptors), cellular activation and T cell help capacity (for CD4+ T cell responses), glycan profiles of antibodies that influence Fc effector function, and many more functional features. A growing class of diverse approaches provide the means to collect functional immune information at large scale, and these high-throughput biological studies are rapidly expanding the scope of available biological data.

Major long term scientific goals include the ability to use high-throughput functional immune data to inform & enable accurate predictions of immune responses. Detailed molecular understanding of protective vs. pathogenic immune responses will also continue to accelerate vaccine designs and drug discovery. Here, we will explore recent progress and the latest advances in high-throughput functional immune response data and explore the ability of the resulting insights to address key scientific questions.

We aim to gather articles that explore applications and insights achieved from high-throughput functional immune analysis technologies in revealing the critical features of adaptive immune function in health and disease. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the molecular complexities of the adaptive immune receptors (TCRs and BCRs), and how that information provides enhanced guidance of clinical treatments and interventions. In this Research Topic we welcome the submission of Reviews (Mini Reviews, Reviews, Opinions) as well as novel Original Research articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following areas:
1. Single-cell analyses of B cells and T cells for functional characterization of adaptive immune responses
2. Systems serology and proteomics-based approaches to mine the wealth of antibody response data contained in the serum compartment
3. Insights into the nature of the adaptive lymphocyte specificities using advance ‘omics tools.
4. Perturbations in adaptive lymphocyte specificities as revealed by ‘omics
5. Tissue- and compartment-based specificity aspects of functional immune memory (blood cells, tissue, serum/secreted molecules)
6. Single-cell and ‘omics-based explorations of specificity and functional features of short-lived vs. long-lived adaptive immunity.

Topic Editor Brandon DeKosky is the founder of Immune Dynamics and received financial support from Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi. Topic Editor Yariv Wine received financial support from GSK. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.


Keywords: Antibodies, B cell receptors, T cell receptors, high-throughput immunology, adaptive immunity, single-cell analysis, systems immunology, BCR-Seq, Ig-Seq, antibody proteomics, next-generation sequencing (NGS)


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent advances in high-throughput biological techniques have provided major growth in our ability to characterize cellular and serological immune data. The rapidly expanding scope of information accelerating our comprehensive understanding of immune functional features, with studies of both human populations and animal models.

Adaptive immune responses can specifically target external antigens including viral, parasitic, bacterial, and tumor cell surface and internal proteins, or may also recognize protein therapeutics or self-proteins in autoimmune settings. The adaptive immune system is closely linked to the generation of immune responses and immune memory, both via T cell receptor (TCR) and B cell receptor (BCR) & antibody interactions. These immune receptors can show varying degrees of specificity and cross-reactivity against their respective peptide:MHC and antigen targets, respectively. The functional features of the adaptive immune receptors and molecules must be characterized for a robust analysis of adaptive immune performance, with major implications for basic immunology, vaccine development, drug discovery, and clinical monitoring of immune response in health and disease. Functional performance features may include but are not limited to binding specificity, binding affinity, cross-reactivity, polyreactivity, neutralization (for antibodies), cellular activation & cell killing capacity (for CD8+ T cell receptors), cellular activation and T cell help capacity (for CD4+ T cell responses), glycan profiles of antibodies that influence Fc effector function, and many more functional features. A growing class of diverse approaches provide the means to collect functional immune information at large scale, and these high-throughput biological studies are rapidly expanding the scope of available biological data.

Major long term scientific goals include the ability to use high-throughput functional immune data to inform & enable accurate predictions of immune responses. Detailed molecular understanding of protective vs. pathogenic immune responses will also continue to accelerate vaccine designs and drug discovery. Here, we will explore recent progress and the latest advances in high-throughput functional immune response data and explore the ability of the resulting insights to address key scientific questions.

We aim to gather articles that explore applications and insights achieved from high-throughput functional immune analysis technologies in revealing the critical features of adaptive immune function in health and disease. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the molecular complexities of the adaptive immune receptors (TCRs and BCRs), and how that information provides enhanced guidance of clinical treatments and interventions. In this Research Topic we welcome the submission of Reviews (Mini Reviews, Reviews, Opinions) as well as novel Original Research articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following areas:
1. Single-cell analyses of B cells and T cells for functional characterization of adaptive immune responses
2. Systems serology and proteomics-based approaches to mine the wealth of antibody response data contained in the serum compartment
3. Insights into the nature of the adaptive lymphocyte specificities using advance ‘omics tools.
4. Perturbations in adaptive lymphocyte specificities as revealed by ‘omics
5. Tissue- and compartment-based specificity aspects of functional immune memory (blood cells, tissue, serum/secreted molecules)
6. Single-cell and ‘omics-based explorations of specificity and functional features of short-lived vs. long-lived adaptive immunity.

Topic Editor Brandon DeKosky is the founder of Immune Dynamics and received financial support from Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi. Topic Editor Yariv Wine received financial support from GSK. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.


Keywords: Antibodies, B cell receptors, T cell receptors, high-throughput immunology, adaptive immunity, single-cell analysis, systems immunology, BCR-Seq, Ig-Seq, antibody proteomics, next-generation sequencing (NGS)


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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