Research ArticleImmunology

Overlap and Effective Size of the Human CD8+ T Cell Receptor Repertoire

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Sep 2010:
Vol. 2, Issue 47, pp. 47ra64
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001442

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Diversity in T lymphocyte antigen receptors is generated by somatic rearrangement of T cell receptor (TCR) genes and is concentrated within the third complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) of each chain of the TCR heterodimer. We sequenced the CDR3 regions from millions of rearranged TCR β chain genes in naïve and memory CD8+ T cells of seven adults. The CDR3 sequence repertoire realized in each individual is strongly biased toward specific Vβ-Jβ pair utilization, dominated by sequences containing few inserted nucleotides, and drawn from a defined subset comprising less than 0.1% of the estimated 5 × 1011 possible sequences. Surprisingly, the overlap in the naïve CD8+ CDR3 sequence repertoires of any two of the individuals is ~7000-fold larger than predicted and appears to be independent of the degree of human leukocyte antigen matching.


  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Citation: H. S. Robins, S. K. Srivastava, P. V. Campregher, C. J. Turtle, J. Andriesen, S. R. Riddell, C. S. Carlson, E. H. Warren, Overlap and effective size of the human CD8+ T cell receptor repertoire. Sci. Transl. Med. 2, 47ra64 (2010).

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