Molecular medicine reports 2017 05 1816(1) 75-86 doi 10.3892/mmr.2017.6601
The T cell receptor (TCR) is a complex heterodimer that recognizes fragments of antigens as peptides and binds to major histocompatibility complex molecules. The TCR α and β chains possess three hypervariable regions termed complementarity determining regions (CDR1, 2 and 3). CDR3 is responsible for recognizing processed antigen peptides. Immunoscope spectratyping is a simple technique for analyzing CDR3 polymorphisms and sequence length diversity, in order to investigate T cell function and the pattern of TCR utilization. The present study employed this technique to analyze CDR3 polymorphisms and the sequence length diversity of TCR α and β chains in porcine CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Polymerase chain reaction products of 19 TCR α variable regions (AV) and 20 TCR β variable regions (BV) gene families obtained from the CD4+ and CD8+ T cells revealed a clear band following separation by 1.5% agarose gel electrophoresis, and each family exhibited >8 bands following separation by 6% sequencing gel electrophoresis. CDR3 spectratyping of all identified TCR AV and BV gene families in the sorted CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by GeneScan, demonstrated a standard Gaussian distribution with >8 peaks. CDR3 in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells demonstrated different expression patterns. The majority of CDR3 recombined in frame and the results revealed that there were 10 and 14 amino acid discrepancies between the longest and shortest CDR3 lengths in specific TCR AV and TCR BV gene families, respectively. The results demonstrated that CDR3 polymorphism and length diversity demonstrated different expression and utilization patterns in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. These results may facilitate future research investigating the porcine TCR CDR3 gene repertoire as well as the functional complexity and specificity of the TCR molecule.