The ability to decode antigen specificities encapsulated in the sequences of rearranged T-cell receptor (TCR) genes is critical for our understanding of the adaptive immune system and promises significant advances in the field of translational medicine. Recent developments in high-throughput sequencing methods (immune repertoire sequencing technology, or RepSeq) and single-cell RNA sequencing technology have allowed us to obtain huge numbers of TCR sequences from donor samples and link them to T-cell phenotypes. However, our ability to annotate these TCR sequences still lags behind, owing to the enormous diversity of the TCR repertoire and the scarcity of available data on T-cell specificities. In this paper, we present VDJdb, a database that stores and aggregates the results of published T-cell specificity assays and provides a universal platform that couples antigen specificities with TCR sequences. We demonstrate that VDJdb is a versatile instrument for the annotation of TCR repertoire data, enabling a concatenated view of antigen-specific TCR sequence motifs. VDJdb can be accessed at https://vdjdb.cdr3.net and https://github.com/antigenomics/vdjdb-db.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.