Biased usage and preferred pairing of α- and β-chains of TCRs specific for an immunodominant gluten epitope in coeliac disease

Int Immunol. 2014 Jan;26(1):13-9. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxt037. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


CD4⁺ T cells that recognize dietary gluten antigens presented by the disease-associated HLA-DQ2 or DQ8 molecules are central players in coeliac disease. Unbiased sequencing of the human TCRα variable (TRAV) and humanTCRβ variable (TRBV) genes of 68 HLA-DQ2.5-glia-α2-specific T cells from coeliac disease patients confirmed previous reports of over-usage of the TRBV7-2 gene segment, a conserved Arg residue in the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3β loop and prevalent usage of the canonical ASSxRxTDTQY CDR3β loop among T cells with this specificity. In 30 clones that had the canonical TCRβ chain, we found a strict usage of the TRAV26-1 gene segment in the TCRα chain. There was variable usage of the TRAJ genes and diverse CDR3α sequences with no apparent conserved motifs. This study extends previous reports on biased TCR usage in both HLA-DQ2.5- and DQ8-restricted gluten-specific TCRs and provides data for further studies on TRAV and TRBV pairing.

Keywords: T cells; TCR repertoire.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / immunology
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Glutens / immunology*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*


  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ2 antigen
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Glutens