Immune Repertoire Analyses
T cell ability to recognize foreign antigens relies on the high variety of T cell receptors (TCR), heterodimeric αβ or γδ glycoproteins. Each glycoprotein chain is originated from the somatic rearrangement of non contiguous genes belonging to different families (V, D (only for β and δ chains) and J). Addition and deletion of non templated nucleotides at the rearranging loci further increase the diversity of the TCR molecule. By deep sequencing of the CDR3 region, the hypervariable portion of the TCR responsible for antigen recognition, it is possible to identify the clonality and the functional status of a T cell population.
The study of the TCR repertoire can be accomplished by various highly specific and sensitive methods. Using RNA, cDNA or DNA as template, the technological spectrum covers Multiplex PCR, RACE PCR or Target Enrichment Sequencing (TES).
The analysis of the T cell receptor repertoire allows a comprehensive over time immunomonitoring and makes the uniform and skewed TCR repertoires in ongoing immune reactions visible.
Comparable studies to define immune status and antigene recognition can be performed for B cell receptors (BCR). These analyses will be available shortly at GeneWerk.