CD19 CAR–T cells of defined CD4+:CD8+ composition in adult B cell ALL patientsThe Journal of Clinical Investigation | April, 2016
T cells that have been modified to express a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) have antitumor activity in B cell malignancies; however, identification of the factors that determine toxicity and efficacy of these T cells has been challenging in prior studies in which phenotypically heterogeneous CAR–T cell products were prepared from unselected T cells.
Immunotherapy with a CAR–T cell product of defined composition enabled identification of factors that correlated with CAR–T cell expansion, persistence, and toxicity and facilitated design of lymphodepletion and CAR–T cell dosing strategies that mitigated toxicity and improved disease-free survival.VIEW
TCR Sequencing Can Identify and Track Glioma-Infiltrating T Cells after DC VaccinationCancer Immunology Research | March, 2016
Although immunotherapeutic strategies are emerging as adjunctive treatments for cancer, sensitive methods of monitoring the immune response after treatment remain to be established. We used a novel next-generation sequencing approach to determine whether quantitative assessments of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) content and the degree of overlap of T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences in brain tumors and peripheral blood were predictors of immune response and overall survival in glioblastoma patients treated with autologous tumor lysate–pulsed dendritic cell immunotherapy. A statistically significant correlation was found between a higher estimated TIL content and increased time to progression and overall survival.VIEW
T-cell receptor profiling in cancerMolecular Oncology | September, 2015
Immunosequencing is a platform technology that allows the enumeration, specification and quantification of each and every B- and/or T-cell in any biologic sample of interest. Thus, it provides an assessment of the level and distribution of all the clonal lymphocytes in any sample, and allows “tracking” of a single clone or multiple clones of interest over time or from tissue to tissue within a given patient. It is based on bias-controlled multiplex PCR and high-throughput sequencing, and it is highly accurate, standardized, and sensitive.VIEW
Multiplex Identification of Antigen-Specific T Cell Receptors Using a Combination of Immune Assays and Immune Receptor SequencingPLOS ONE | October, 2015
Monitoring antigen-specific T cells is critical for the study of immune responses and development of biomarkers and immunotherapeutics. We developed a novel multiplex assay that combines conventional immune monitoring techniques and immune receptor repertoire sequencing to enable identification of T cells specific to large numbers of antigens simultaneously. We multiplexed 30 different antigens and identified 427 antigen-specific clonotypes from 5 individuals with frequencies as low as 1 per million T cells. The clonotypes identified were validated several ways including repeatability, concordance with published clonotypes, and high correlation with ELISPOT.VIEW
High-throughput pairing of T cell receptor α and β sequencesScience Translational Medicine | August, 2015
The T cell receptor (TCR) protein is a heterodimer composed of an α chain and a β chain. TCR genes undergo somatic DNA rearrangements to generate the diversity of T cell binding specificities needed for effective immunity. Recently, high-throughput immunosequencing methods have been developed to profile the TCR α (TCRA) and TCR β (TCRB) repertoires. However, these methods cannot determine which TCRA and TCRB chains combine to form a specific TCR, which is essential for many functional and therapeutic applications. We describe and validate a method called pairSEQ, which can leverage the diversity of TCR sequences to accurately pair hundreds of thousands of TCRA and TCRB sequences in a single experiment.VIEW
Common clonal origin of central and resident memory T cells following skin immunizationNature Medicine | May, 2015
Central memory T (TCM) cells in lymph nodes (LNs) and resident memory T (TRM) cells in peripheral tissues have distinct roles in protective immunity. Both are generated after primary infections, but their clonal origins have been unclear. To address this question, we immunized mice through the skin with a protein antigen, a chemical hapten, or a non-replicating poxvirus. We then analyzed antigen-activated T cells from different tissues using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the gene encoding the T cell receptor (TCR) β-chain (Trb, also known asTcrb) using CDR3 sequences to simultaneously track thousands of unique T cells.VIEW
Clonotypic Diversification of Intratumoral T Cells Following Sipuleucel-T Treatment in Prostate Cancer Subjects
Sipuleucel-T is an autologous cellular therapy for asymptomatic, or minimally symptomatic, metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer, designed to stimulate an immune response against prostate cancer. In a recent clinical trial (NCT00715104), we found that neoadjuvant sipuleucel-T increased the number of activated T cells within the tumor microenvironment. The current analysis examined whether sipuleucel-T altered adaptive T cell responses by expanding pre-existing T cells or by recruiting new T cells to prostate tissue. Next-generation sequencing of the T cell receptor (TCR) genes from blood or prostate tissue was used to quantitate and track T cell clonotypes in these treated subjects with prostate cancer. At baseline, there was a significantly greater diversity of circulating TCR sequences in subjects with prostate cancer compared with healthy donors. Among healthy donors, circulating TCR sequence diversity remained unchanged over the same time interval. In contrast, sipuleucel-T treatment reduced circulating TCR sequence diversity versus baseline as measured by the Shannon index. Interestingly, sipuleucel-T treatment resulted in greater TCR sequence diversity in resected prostate tissue in sipuleucel-T-treated subjects versus tissue of non-sipuleucel-T-treated subjects with prostate cancer. Furthermore, sipuleucel-T increased TCR sequence commonality between blood and resected prostate tissue in treated versus untreated subjects with prostate cancer. The broadening of the TCR repertoire within the prostate tissue supports the hypothesis that sipuleucel-T treatment facilitates the recruitment of T cells into the prostate. Our results highlight the importance of assessing T cell response to immunotherapy both in the periphery and in tumor tissue.
Combined IL-21–primed polyclonal CTL plus CTLA4 blockade controls refractory metastatic melanoma in a patient
Adoptive transfer of peripheral blood–derived, melanoma-reactive CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) alone is generally insufficient to eliminate bulky tumors. Similarly, monotherapy with anti-CTLA4 infrequently yields sustained remissions in patients with metastatic melanoma. We postulated that a bolus of enhanced IL-21–primed polyclonal antigen-specific CTL combined with CTLA4 blockade might boost antitumor efficacy. In this first-in-human case study, the combination successfully led to a durable complete remission (CR) in a patient whose disease was refractory to both monoclonal CTL and anti-CTLA4. Long-term persistence and sustained anti-tumor activity of transferred CTL, as well as responses to nontargeted antigens, confirmed mutually beneficial effects of the combined treatment. In this first-in-human study, Chapuis et al. demonstrate that the combination of adoptive cellular therapy with CTLA4 blockade induces long-term remission in a melanoma patient resistant to both modalities administered serially and individually.
Immune DNA signature of T-cell infiltration in breast tumor exomes
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) have been associated with favorable prognosis in multiple tumor types. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) represents the largest collection of cancer molecular data, but lacks detailed information about the immune environment. Here, we show that exome reads mapping to the complementarity-determining-region 3 (CDR3) of mature T-cell receptor beta (TCRB) can be used as an immune DNA (iDNA) signature. Specifically, we propose a method to identify CDR3 reads in a breast tumor exome and validate it using deep TCRB sequencing. In 1,078 TCGA breast cancer exomes, the fraction of CDR3 reads was associated with TILs fraction, tumor purity, adaptive immunity gene expression signatures and improved survival in Her2+ patients. Only 2/839 TCRB clonotypes were shared between patients and none associated with a specific HLA allele or somatic driver mutations. The iDNA biomarker enriches the comprehensive dataset collected through TCGA, revealing associations with other molecular features and clinical outcomes.
CD19 CAR–T cells of defined CD4+:CD8+ composition in adult B cell ALL patients
BACKGROUND. T cells that have been modified to express a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) have antitumor activity in B cell malignancies; however, identification of the factors that determine toxicity and efficacy of these T cells has been challenging in prior studies in which phenotypically heterogeneous CAR–T cell products were prepared from unselected T cells.
METHODS. We conducted a clinical trial to evaluate CD19 CAR–T cells that were manufactured from defined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets and administered in a defined CD4+ :CD8+ composition to adults with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia after lymphodepletion chemotherapy.
RESULTS. The defined composition product was remarkably potent, as 27 of 29 patients (93%) achieved BM remission, as determined by flow cytometry. We established that high CAR–T cell doses and tumor burden increase the risks of severe cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. Moreover, we identified serum biomarkers that allow testing of early intervention strategies in patients at the highest risk of toxicity. Risk-stratified CAR–T cell dosing based on BM disease burden decreased toxicity. CD8+ T cell–mediated anti-CAR transgene product immune responses developed after CAR–T cell infusion in some patients, limited CAR–T cell persistence, and increased relapse risk. Addition of fludarabine to the lymphodepletion regimen improved CAR–T cell persistence and disease-free survival.
CONCLUSION. Immunotherapy with a CAR–T cell product of defined composition enabled identification of factors that correlated with CAR–T cell expansion, persistence, and toxicity and facilitated design of lymphodepletion and CAR–T cell dosing strategies that mitigated toxicity and improved disease-free survival.
Conventional and Regulatory CD4+ T Cells That Share Identical TCRs Are Derived from Common Clones
Origin and evolution of the T cell repertoire after posttransplantation cyclophosphamide
Posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) effectively prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but its immunologic impact is poorly understood. We assessed lymphocyte reconstitution via flow cytometry (n = 74) and antigen receptor sequencing (n = 35) in recipients of myeloablative, HLA-matched allogeneic BM transplantation using PTCy. Recovering T cells were primarily phenotypically effector memory with lower T cell receptor β (TRB) repertoire diversity than input donor repertoires. Recovering B cells were predominantly naive with immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (IGH) repertoire diversity similar to donors. Numerical T cell reconstitution and TRB diversity were strongly associated with recipient cytomegalovirus seropositivity. Global similarity between input donor and recipient posttransplant repertoires was uniformly low at 1–2 months after transplant but increased over the balance of the first posttransplant year. Blood TRB repertoires at ≥3 months after transplant were often dominated by clones present in the donor blood/marrow memory CD8+ compartment. Limited overlap was observed between the TRB repertoires of T cells infiltrating the skin or gastrointestinal tract versus the blood. Although public TRB sequences associated with herpesvirus- or alloantigen-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in some patients, posttransplant TRB and IGH repertoires were unique to each individual. These data define the immune dynamics occurring after PTCy and establish a benchmark against which immune recovery after other transplantation approaches can be compared.
Ligase-4 Deficiency Causes Distinctive Immune Abnormalities in Asymptomatic Individuals
PURPOSE DNA Ligase 4 (LIG4) is a key factor in the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA double-strand break repair pathway needed for V(D)J recombination and the generation of the T cell receptor and immunoglobulin molecules. Defects in LIG4 result in a variable syndrome of growth retardation, pancytopenia, combined immunodeficiency, cellular radiosensitivity, and developmental delay.
METHODSWe diagnosed a patient with LIG4 syndrome by radiosensitivity testing on peripheral blood cells, and established that two of her four healthy siblings carried the same compound heterozygous LIG4 mutations. An extensive analysis of the immune phenotype, cellular radiosensitivity, telomere length, and T and B cell antigen receptor repertoire was performed in all siblings.
RESULTS In the three genotypically affected individuals, variable severities of radiosensitivity, alterations of T and B cell counts with an increased percentage of memory cells, and hypogammaglobulinemia, were noticed. Analysis of T and Bcell antigen receptor repertoires demonstrated increased usage of alternative microhomology-mediated end-joining (MHMEJ) repair, leading to diminished N nucleotide addition and shorter CDR3 length. However, overall repertoire diversity was preserved.
CONCLUSIONS We demonstrate that LIG4 syndrome presents with high clinical variability even within the same family, and that distinctive immunologic abnormalities may be observed also in yet asymptomatic individuals.
CD8+ T-cell pathogenicity in Rasmussen encephalitis elucidated by large-scale T-cell receptor sequencing
Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) is a rare paediatric epilepsy with uni-hemispheric inflammation and progressive neurological deficits. To elucidate RE immunopathology, we applied T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing to blood (n = 23), cerebrospinal fluid (n = 2) and brain biopsies (n = 5) of RE patients, and paediatric controls. RE patients present with peripheral CD8+ T-cell expansion and its strength correlates with disease severity. In addition, RE is the only paediatric epilepsy with prominent T-cell expansions in the CNS. Consistently, common clones are shared between RE patients, who also share MHC-I alleles. Public RE clones share Vb genes and length of the CDR3. Rituximab/natalizumab/basiliximab treatment does not change TCR diversity, stem cell transplantation replaces the TCR repertoire with minimal overlap between donor and recipient, as observed in individual cases. Our study supports the hypothesis of an antigen-specific attack of peripherally expanded CD8+ lymphocytes against CNS structures in RE, which might be ameliorated by restricting access to the CNS.
Developmental Progression and Interrelationship of Central and Effector Regulatory T Cell Subsets
Resting central Tregs (cTregs) and activated effector Tregs (eTregs) are required for self-tolerance, but the heterogeneity and relationships within and between phenotypically distinct subsets of cTregs and eTregs are poorly understood. By extensive immune profiling and deep sequencing of TCR-β V regions, two subsets of cTregs, based on expression of Ly-6C, and three subsets of eTregs, based on distinctive expression of CD62L, CD69, and CD103, were identified. Ly-6C+ cTregs exhibited lower basal activation, expressed on average lower affinity TCRs, and less efficiently developed into eTregs when compared with Ly-6C− cTregs. The dominant TCR Vβs of Ly-6C+ cTregs were shared by eTregs at a low frequency. A single TCR clonotype was also identified that was largely restricted to Ly-6C+ cTregs, even under conditions that promoted the development of eTregs. Collectively, these findings indicate that some Ly-6C+ cTregs may persist as a lymphoid-specific subset, with minimal potential to develop into highly activated eTregs, whereas other cTregs readily develop into eTregs. In contrast, subsets of CD62Llo eTregs showed higher clonal expansion and were more highly interrelated than cTreg subsets based on their TCR-β repertoires, but exhibited varied immune profiles. The CD62Llo CD69− CD103− eTreg subset displayed properties of a transitional intermediate between cTregs and more activated eTreg subsets. Thus, eTreg subsets appear to exhibit substantial flexibility, most likely in response to environmental cues, to adopt defined immune profiles that are expected to optimize suppression of autoreactive T cells.
TCR Sequencing Can Identify and Track Glioma-Infiltrating T Cells after DC Vaccination
Although immunotherapeutic strategies are emerging as adjunctive treatments for cancer, sensitive methods of monitoring the immune response after treatment remain to be established. We used a novel next-generation sequencing approach to determine whether quantitative assessments of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) content and the degree of overlap of T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences in brain tumors and peripheral blood were predictors of immune response and overall survival in glioblastoma patients treated with autologous tumor lysate–pulsed dendritic cell immunotherapy. A statistically significant correlation was found between a higher estimated TIL content and increased time to progression and overall survival. In addition, we were able to assess the proportion of shared TCR sequences between tumor and peripheral blood at time points before and after therapy, and found the level of TCR overlap to correlate with survival outcomes. Higher degrees of overlap, or the development of an increased overlap following immunotherapy, was correlated with improved clinical outcome, and may provide insights into the successful, antigen-specific immune response.
Rapid Evolution of the CD8+ TCR Repertoire in Neonatal Mice
Currently, there is little consensus regarding the most appropriate animal model to study acute infection and the virus-specific CD8+ T cell (CTL) responses in neonates. TCRβ high-throughput sequencing in naive CTL of differently aged neonatal mice was performed, which demonstrated differential Vβ family gene usage. Using an acute influenza infection model, we examined the TCR repertoire of the CTL response in neonatal and adult mice infected with influenza type A virus. Three-day-old mice mounted a greatly reduced primary NP(366–374)–specific CTL response when compared with 7-d-old and adult mice, whereas secondary CTL responses were normal. Analysis of NP(366–374)-specific CTL TCR repertoire revealed different Vβ gene usage and greatly reduced public clonotypes in 3-d-old neonates. This could underlie the impaired CTL response in these neonates. To directly test this, we examined whether controlling the TCR would restore neonatal CTL responses. We performed adoptive transfers of both nontransgenic and TCR-transgenic OVA(257–264)-specific (OT-I) CD8+ T cells into influenza-infected hosts, which revealed that naive neonatal and adult OT-I cells expand equally well in neonatal and adult hosts. In contrast, nontransgenic neonatal CD8+ T cells when transferred into adults failed to expand. We further demonstrate that differences in TCR avidity may contribute to decreased expansion of the endogenous neonatal CTL. These studies highlight the rapid evolution of the neonatal TCR repertoire during the first week of life and show that impaired neonatal CTL immunity results from an immature TCR repertoire, rather than intrinsic signaling defects or a suppressive environment.
Immune profiling players shift gear to guide cancer drug development.
T-cell receptor repertoire variation may be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans
BACKGROUND: Recent work in Pima Indians, a population with high rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), demonstrated that human leukocyte antigen haplotype DRB1*02 carriers have an increased acute insulin response and decreased risk for the development of T2DM, implicating loss of self-tolerance in the pathogenesis of T2DM. Advances in genomic sequencing have made T-cell receptor repertoire analysis a practical mode of investigation.
METHODS: High-throughput sequencing of T-cell receptor complementarity-determining region 3 was carried out in male Pima Indians with normal glucose regulation (n = 11; age = 31 ± 8 years; %fat = 30.2 ± 8.7%) and the protective DRB1*02 haplotype versus those with T2DM without DRB1*02 (n = 7; age = 34 ± 8 years; %fat = 31.2 ± 4.7%). Findings were partially replicated in another cohort by assessing the predictive ability of T-cell receptor variation on risk of T2DM in Pima Indian men (n = 27; age = 28.9 ± 7.1 years; %fat = 28.8 ± 7.1%) and women (n = 20; age = 29 ± 7.0 years; %fat = 37.1 ± 6.8%) with baseline normal glucose regulation but without the protective haplotype who were invited to follow-up examinations as frequently as every 2 years where diabetes status was assessed by a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. Of these subjects, 13 developed diabetes.
RESULTS: T-cell receptor complementarity-determining region 3 length was shorter in those with T2DM, and a one-nucleotide decrease in complementarity-determining region 3 length was associated with a nearly threefold increase in risk for future diabetes. The frequency of one variable gene, TRBV7-8, was higher in those with T2DM. A 1% increase in TRBV7-8 frequency was associated with a greater than threefold increase in diabetes risk.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that T-cell autoimmunity may be an important component in progression to T2DM in Pima Indians
High-content molecular profiling of T-cell therapy in oncology
Recent clinical data have revealed the remarkable potential for T-cell-modulating agents to induce potent and durable responses in a subset of cancer patients. In this review, we discuss molecular approaches, platforms, and strategies that enable a broader interrogation of the activity of agents that modulate the activity of tumor-specific T cells, to more comprehensively understand how and why the agents succeed and fail, as well as examples of data sets generated in clinical trials that have provided important insights into the biological activity of T-cell therapies and that support further rational development of this exciting treatment modality
Next Generation Sequencing Reveals Restriction and Clonotypic Expansion of Regulatory T Cells in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
OBJECTIVE: Regulatory T (Treg) cell mediated suppression of effector T (Teff) cells is impaired in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA); however, the basis for this dysfunction is incompletely understood. Animal models of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency demonstrate that a diverse Treg repertoire is essential to maintain Treg cell function. We therefore employed next generation sequencing to investigate the Treg and Teff repertoires in JIA.
METHODS: Treg (CD4+CD25+CD127lo) and Teff (CD4+CD25-) cells were isolated from peripheral blood and synovial fluid obtained from JIA patients, controls, and children with Lyme arthritis. Treg cell function was measured in suppressive assays. The T cell receptor β chain (TRB) was amplified by multiplex PCR, and amplicons were sequenced with the Illumina HiSeq platform. Data was analyzed using ImmunoSEQTM, International ImMunoGeneTics system, and the Immunoglobulin Analysis Tools.
RESULTS: Compared to controls, the JIA peripheral blood Treg repertoire was restricted and clonotypic expansions were found in both blood and synovial fluid Treg cells. Skewed usage and pairing of TRB variable and joining genes, including overuse of gene segments that have been associated with other autoimmune conditions, was observed. JIA patients shared a substantial portion of synovial fluid Treg clonotypes that were private to JIA and not identified in Lyme arthritis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data identified restriction and clonotypic expansions in the JIA Treg repertoire with sharing of Treg clonotypes across arthritis patients. These findings suggest that abnormalities in the Treg repertoire, possibly engendered by shared antigenic triggers, may contribute to disease pathogenesis in JIA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
High-throughput sequencing of immune repertoires in multiple sclerosis
T cells and B cells are crucial in the initiation and maintenance of multiple sclerosis (MS), and the activation of these cells is believed to be mediated through specific recognition of antigens by the T- and B-cell receptors. The antigen receptors are highly polymorphic due to recombination (T- and B-cell receptors) and mutation (B-cell receptors) of the encoding genes, which can therefore be used as fingerprints to track individual T- and B-cell clones. Such studies can shed light on mechanisms driving the immune responses and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Here, we summarize studies that have explored the T- and B-cell receptor repertoires using earlier methodological approaches, and we focus on how high-throughput sequencing has provided new knowledge by surveying the immune repertoires in MS in even greater detail and with unprecedented depth.
Prospective identification of neoantigen-specific lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of melanoma patients
Detection of lymphocytes that target tumor-specific mutant neoantigens—derived from products encoded by mutated genes in the tumor—is mostly limited to tumor-resident lymphocytes1, 2, but whether these lymphocytes often occur in the circulation is unclear. We recently reported that intratumoral expression of the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor can guide the identification of the patient-specific repertoire of tumor-reactive CD8+ lymphocytes that reside in the tumor3. In view of these findings, we investigated whether PD-1 expression on peripheral blood lymphocytes could be used as a biomarker to detect T cells that target neoantigens. By using a high-throughput personalized screening approach, we identified neoantigen-specific lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of three of four melanoma patients. Despite their low frequency in the circulation, we found that CD8+PD-1+, but not CD8+PD-1−, cell populations had lymphocytes that targeted 3, 3 and 1 unique, patient-specific neoantigens, respectively. We show that neoantigen-specific T cells and gene-engineered lymphocytes expressing neoantigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) isolated from peripheral blood recognized autologous tumors. Notably, the tumor-antigen specificities and TCR repertoires of the circulating and tumor-infiltrating CD8+PD-1+ cells appeared similar, implying that the circulating CD8+PD-1+lymphocytes could provide a window into the tumor-resident antitumor lymphocytes. Thus, expression of PD-1 identifies a diverse and patient-specific antitumor T cell response in peripheral blood, providing a novel noninvasive strategy to develop personalized therapies using neoantigen-reactive lymphocytes or TCRs to treat cancer.
Extensive CD4 and CD8 T Cell Cross-Reactivity between Alphaherpesviruses.
The Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily includes HSV types 1 and 2 and the sequence-divergent pathogen varicella zoster virus (VZV). T cells, controlled by TCR and HLA molecules that tolerate limited epitope amino acid variation, might cross-react between these microbes. We show that memory PBMC expansion with either HSV or VZV enriches for CD4 T cell lines that recognize the other agent at the whole-virus, protein, and peptide levels, consistent with bidirectional cross-reactivity. HSV-specific CD4 T cells recovered from HSV-seronegative persons can be explained, in part, by such VZV cross-reactivity. HSV-1-reactive CD8 T cells also cross-react with VZV-infected cells, full-length VZV proteins, and VZV peptides, as well as kill VZV-infected dermal fibroblasts. Mono- and cross-reactive CD8 T cells use distinct TCRB CDR3 sequences. Cross-reactivity to VZV is reconstituted by cloning and expressing TCRA/TCRB receptors from T cells that are initially isolated using HSV reagents. Overall, we define 13 novel CD4 and CD8 HSV-VZV cross-reactive epitopes and strongly imply additional cross-reactive peptide sets. Viral proteins can harbor both CD4 and CD8 HSV/VZV cross-reactive epitopes. Quantitative estimates of HSV/VZV cross-reactivity for both CD4 and CD8 T cells vary from 10 to 50%. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that host herpesvirus immune history may influence the pathogenesis and clinical outcome of subsequent infections or vaccinations for related pathogens and that cross-reactive epitopes and TCRs may be useful for multi-alphaherpesvirus vaccine design and adoptive cellular therapy.
Short-term assessment of BCR repertoires of SLE patients after high dose glucocorticoid therapy with high-throughput sequencing
We analyze and assess BCR repertoires of SLE patients before and after high dose glucocorticoid therapy to address two fundamental questions: (1) After the treatment, how the BCR repertoire of SLE patient change on the clone level? (2) How to screen putative autoantibody clone set from BCR repertoire of SLE patients? The PBMCs of two SLE patients (P1 and P2) at different time points were collected, and DNA of these samples were extracted. High-throughput sequencing technology was applied in detection of BCR repertoire. Finally, we used bioinformatic methodology to analyse sequence data. We found that these two patients lost some IGHV3 family genes usage after treatment compared with before treatment. For pairing of IGHV–IGHJ gene, no significant change was shown for each patient. In addition, analyses of the composition of H-CDR3 showed overall AA compositions of H-CDR3 at three time points in each SLE patients were very similar, and the results of H-CDR3 AA usage that had the same length (14 AA) and the same position were similar. Antinuclear antibody tests of SLE patients showed that level of some antinuclear antibodies reduced after treatment; however, there was no sign that the percentage of autoantibody clones in BCR repertoires would reduce. High dose glucocorticoid treatment in short term will have little impact on composition of BCR repertoire of SLE patient. Treatment can reduce the amount of autoantibody in the protein level, but may not reduce the percentage of autoantibody clones in BCR repertoire in the clonal level.
On the organization of human T-cell receptor loci: log-periodic distribution of T-cell receptor gene segments
The human T-cell repertoire is complex and is generated by the rearrangement of variable (V), diversity (D) and joining (J) segments on the T-cell receptor (TCR) loci. The T-cell repertoire demonstrates self-similarity in terms clonal frequencies when defined by V, D and J gene segment usage; therefore to determine whether the structural ordering of these gene segments on the TCR loci contributes to the observed clonal frequencies, the TCR loci were examined for self-similarity and periodicity in terms of gene segment organization. Logarithmic transformation of numeric sequence order demonstrated that the V and J gene segments for both T-cell receptor α (TRA) and β (TRB) loci are arranged in a self-similar manner when the spacing between the adjacent segments was considered as a function of the size of the neighbouring gene segment, with an average fractal dimension of approximately 1.5. Accounting for the gene segments occurring on helical DNA molecules with a logarithmic distribution, sine and cosine functions of the log-transformed angular coordinates of the start and stop nucleotides of successive TCR gene segments showed an ordered progression from the 5′ to the 3′ end of the locus, supporting a log-periodic organization. T-cell clonal frequency estimates, based on V and J segment usage, from normal stem cell donors were plotted against the V and J segment on TRB locus and demonstrated a periodic distribution. We hypothesize that this quasi-periodic variation in gene-segment representation in the T-cell clonal repertoire may be influenced by the location of the gene segments on the periodic-logarithmically scaled TCR loci. Interactions between the two strands of DNA in the double helix may influence the probability of gene segment usage by means of either constructive or destructive interference resulting from the superposition of the two helices.
TCR Sequencing Facilitates Diagnosis and Identifies Mature T Cells as the Cell of Origin in CTCLScience Translational Medicine | October, 2015
Early diagnosis of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) is difficult and takes on average 6 years after presentation, in part because the clinical appearance and histopathology of CTCL can resemble that of benign inflammatory skin diseases. Detection of a malignant T cell clone is critical in making the diagnosis of CTCL, but the T cell receptor g (TCRg) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis in current clinical use detects clones in only a subset of patients. High-throughput TCR sequencing (HTS) detected T cell clones in 46 of 46 CTCL patients, was more sensitive and specific than TCRg PCR, and successfully discriminated CTCL from benign inflammatory diseases. HTS also accurately assessed responses to therapy and facilitated diagnosis of disease recurrence.VIEW
Prognostic Value of Deep Sequencing Method for Minimal Residual Disease Detection in Multiple MyelomaBlood | May, 2014
We assessed the prognostic value of minimal residual disease (MRD) detection in multiple myeloma (MM) patients using a sequencing-based platform in bone marrow samples from 133 MM patients in at least very good partial response (VGPR) after front-line therapy. Deep sequencing was carried out in patients in whom a high-frequency myeloma clone was identified and MRD was assessed using the IGH-VDJH, IGH-DJH, and IGK assays. The results were contrasted with those of multiparametric flow cytometry (MFC) and allele-specific oligonucleotide polymerase chain reaction (ASO-PCR). The applicability of deep sequencing was 91%. Concordance between sequencing and MFC and ASO-PCR was 83% and 85%, respectively.VIEW
Non-Invasive Monitoring of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma by Immunoglobulin High-Throughput SequencingBlood | June, 2015
Recent studies have shown limited utility of routine surveillance imaging for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients achieving remission. Detection of molecular disease by immunoglobulin high-throughput sequencing (Ig-HTS) from peripheral blood provides an alternate strategy for surveillance. We prospectively evaluated the utility of Ig-HTS within 311 blood and 105 tumor samples from 75 patients with DLBCL, comparing Ig-HTS from the cellular (circulating leukocytes) and acellular (plasma cell-free DNA) compartments of peripheral blood to clinical outcomes and 18FDG PET/CT (n=173). Clonotypic immunoglobulin rearrangements were detected in 83% of patients with adequate tumor samples to enable subsequent monitoring in peripheral blood.VIEW
IgH-V(D)J NGS-MRD Measurement Pre- and Early Post- Allo-Transplant Defines Very Low and Very High Risk ALL PatientsBlood | May, 2015
Positive detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) by multichannel flow cytometry (MFC) prior to hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) of patients with ALL identifies patients at high risk for relapse, but many pre-HCT MFC-MRD negative patients also relapse, and the predictive power MFC-MRD early post-HCT is poor. To test whether the increased sensitivity of next-generation sequencing (NGS-MRD) better identifies pre- and post-HCT relapse risk, we performed IgH V(D)J NGS-MRD on 56 patients with B-cell ALL enrolled in Children's Oncology Group (COG) trial ASCT0431. NGS-MRD predicted relapse and survival more accurately than MFC-MRD (p<0.0001), especially in the MRD negative cohort (relapse 0% vs. 16%; p=0.02, 2yr OS 96% vs. 77%; p=0.003).VIEW
A Comparative Analysis Of Next-Generation Sequencing and Real-Time Quantitative PCR For Minimal Residual Disease Detection In Follicular Lymphomas
Background: Detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) by t(14;18) Real-Time Quantitative (RQ) PCR is an important tool during clinical follow-up in patients (pts) with follicular lymphoma (FL). However, only the major breakpoint region (MBR) and minor cluster region (mcr) breakpoints have been currently exploited as MRD targets. Therefore, only 50% to 65% of pts can be assessed by t(14;18) RQ-PCR. Alternative targets such as the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (IGH) can be used only with limitations due to somatic hypermutation. IGH-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) might provide an alternative approach and provide increased sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and reproducibility. We performed a comparison of the two approaches in 29 FL pts.
Patients and Methods: Overall, 206 samples (85 bone marrow, 114 peripheral blood, 6 stem cell aliquots and one lymph node sample) were investigated from 29 FL pts in which RQ-PCR based MRD analysis had been performed in the context of prospective clinical trials. Overall, 33 dx and 173 follow-up (FU) samples were analyzed. 23/29 pts had a PCR detectable t(14;18) rearrangement, 5 pts had a clonal IGH rearrangement only and one patient had no marker by consensus PCR. NGS was performed at Sequenta in South San Francisco. Using universal primer sets, we amplified IGH variable, diversity, and joining gene segments from genomic DNA. Amplified products were sequenced to obtain a high degree of coverage and analyzed using standardized algorithms for clonotype determination. Tumor-specific clonotypes were identified for each patient based on their high-frequency in the dx sample and then quantitated in FU samples.
Overall comparability of MRD results by RQ-PCR and NGS was assessed using correlation analysis. A positive/negative discordance between two results was defined as major when the positive result was >1E-05 and minor when ≤1E-05; a quantitative discordance was defined as the presence of two positive results with a quantitative discrepancy >1 log.
Results: All 29 pts were evaluable with at least one method. IGH NGS identified an index clone in 22/29 cases. Seven patients pts were only quantifiable by t(14;18) RQ-PCR while IGH NGS did not identify an index clone for sequencing. In all but one dx sample demonstrated low level lymphoma infiltration with MRD level below 10-3. In one of these cases, IG kappa could be successfully sequenced for MRD indicating that not only low level MRD but also somatic mutation of IGH is a potential pitfall for MRD detection by NGS in FL.
15 pts were evaluable for MRD by t(14;18) RQ-PCR and NGS. In 97 FU samples, a significant concordance between MRD methods could be demonstrated (r2=0.80) (p<0.0001). Of these samples, 44 were MRD positive and 45 were MRD negative with both tools. A quantitative discordance occurred in 12/44 MRD positive samples, where MRD was higher in 7 samples and lower in 5 samples by NGS. A major discordance occurred in 4 samples where t(14;18) RQ-PCR was positive and NGS was negative. A minor discordance was detectable in 4 samples where in 2 samples t(14;18) RQ-PCR was positive and NGS was negative, and in the other 2 samples the opposite was correct.
In 5 t(14;18) negative cases and one with an unusual large t(14;18) rearrangement MRD was quantified by IGH-RQ-PCR using cloned plasmids and IGH NGS. In all cases both methods also showed excellent concordance.
One advantage of the IGH NGS approach is its ability to detect different IGH sequences generated by the somatic hypermutation process. We have seen in some patients a dynamic picture of the IGH clonotypes with the rise and fall of different clonotypes at different time points (Fig 1).
Conclusions: NGS represents a feasible tool for IGH-based MRD monitoring that allows analysis of a larger group of FL pts. Our results show that the two methods have a high level of correlation. Lymphoma infiltration of dx samples and somatic mutation of IGH is a critical point for identification of the tumor-specific clonotypes by NGS, therefore different MRD methods should complement each other to allow MRD assessment for the majority of pts. Furthermore IGH NGS sequencing has the potential to detect and track IGH evolution in FL.