TCR Repertoires of Thymic Conventional and Regulatory T Cells: Identification and Characterization of Both Unique and Shared TCR Sequences.
Thymic regulatory T cells (tTreg) are critical in the maintenance of normal T cell immunity and tolerance. The role of TCR in tTreg selection remains incompletely understood. In this study, we assessed TCRα and TCRβ sequences of mouse tTreg and thymic conventional CD4+ T cells (Tconv) by high-throughput sequencing. We identified αβ TCR sequences that were unique to either tTreg or Tconv and found that these were distinct as recognized by machine learning algorithm and by preferentially used amino acid trimers in αβ CDR3 of tTreg. In addition, a proportion of αβ TCR sequences expressed by tTreg were also found in Tconv, and machine learning classified the great majority of these shared αβ TCR sequences as characteristic of Tconv and not tTreg. These findings identify two populations of tTreg, one in which the regulatory T cell fate is associated with unique properties of the TCR and another with TCR properties characteristic of Tconv for which tTreg fate is determined by factors beyond TCR sequence.
Ko, A; Watanabe, M; Nguyen, T; Shi, A; Achour, A; Zhang, B; Sun, X; Wang, Q; Zhuang, Y; Weng, N-P; Hodes, RJ
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