DriverMap Adaptive Immune Receptor (AIR) TCR-BCR Profiling

DriverMap AIR is the only assay technology on the market that profiles the full-length receptor region or only the CDR3 repertoire of all T-cell receptor (TCR)--TRA, TRB, TRG and TRD--and B-cell receptor (BCR)--IGH, IGK and IKL--chains in an single-tube, single-day assay using multiplex RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology without the need of any additional specialized equipment. Cellecta offers AIR assays to profile human or mouse RNA, DNA, or both. The simultaneous profiling of DNA and RNA enables the identification of antigen-activated clonotypes to provide even greater insight into the immune response.

How does the DriverMap AIR assay work?

  • Start from RNA or DNA from a variety of immune sample types such as whole blood, PBMCs, cancer biopsies, tissue samples, FFPE or dried blood microsamples.
  • Detect and accurate quantify AIR clonotypes with the multiplex PCR-based assay making use of Unique Molecular Identifiers (UMIs).
  • Obtain more sensitive and reproducible profiling data.

    • Since T- and B-cells work synergistically in the adaptive immune response, we have designed an assay that profiles both T-cell receptor (TCR) and B-cell receptor (BCR) repertoires in a single convenient reaction. Separate assays specific for T- or B-cell chains are also available.

      The DriverMap AIR-RNA assay quantifies T-cell and B-cell receptor transcripts. Assaying expression of the immune receptors from either the CDR3 or the full-length receptor region enables highly sensitive detection of low-frequency, rare TCR and BCR clonotypes and more comprehensive profiling when working with small samples and limited numbers of cells. Fig. 1 shows that the DriverMap AIR-RNA assay is able to detect all seven TCR and BCR chains from a single sample of RNA.

      The DriverMap AIR-DNA assay amplifies receptor genes directly from genomic DNA. The AIR-DNA assay provides a more quantitative measurement of the genetic copies for each CDR3-specific clonotype which correlates to the number of cells with that clonotype in that sample. This data enables the measurement of clonal expansion in T and B cells.

      Combining data obtained from both the AIR-DNA and AIR-RNA assays enables assessment of both the transcriptional activation and number of cells with a particular clonotype. The ability to differentiate these two effects provides a quantitative basis to assess antigen-activated clonotypes. For example, it is evident from the data in Fig. 2, that particular TRB clonotypes, even when present in only a small portion of the cells in a population, can be highly up-regulated.

    • How is the DriverMap AIR Assay Different from other Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire (AIRR) Assays?

      • DriverMap™ Multiplex PCR technology uses gene-specific primers which significantly reduce the level of non-specific binding and primer-dimer amplification products, and are designed to target only TCR/BCR isoforms.
      • Unique Molecular Identifiers (UMIs) facilitate accurate quantitation of the copy number of cDNA or DNA molecules in amplification steps, as well as detection of low abundance clonotypes and correction of amplification biases and sequencing errors.
      • Dual-index amplicon labeling strategy minimizes index hopping during NGS allowing for comprehensive readouts.
      • Full profiles of the antigen-recognition CDR3 region enable assessment of CDR3 length distribution, V(D)J segment usage, isotype composition for BCRs, somatic mutations, and similar characteristics with immune receptor profiling software such as MiXCR (MiLabs).
    • Applications of BCR sequencing

      • Identify broadly neutralizing antibodies (BNAbs) and map Ig-seq datasets to known antibody structures for antibody and vaccine development.
      • Track B-cell migration and development patterns
      • Find markers of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and cancers (e.g. B-cell lymphoma)
      • Contrast naïve and antigenically challenged datasets to understand antibody maturation

      Applications of TCR sequencing

      • Track T-cell clonality and diversity for insights into mechanisms of action of immune checkpoint inhibitors for immunotherapies
      • Assess TCR overlap between repertoires to define spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the anti-tumoral immune response
      • Analyze TCR sequence and structure to annotate antigenic specificity for developing personalized cellular immunotherapies