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Immunol Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;87(7):546-53. doi: 10.1038/icb.2009.38. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Extraction and characterization of the rhesus macaque T-cell receptor beta-chain genes.

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Complex Systems in Biology Group, Centre for Vascular Research, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia.


Rhesus macaque models have been instrumental in the development and testing of vaccines before human studies and have provided fundamental insights into the determinants of immune efficacy in a variety of infectious diseases. However, the characterization of antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoires during adaptive immune responses in these models has earlier relied on human TCR gene assignments. Here, we extracted and characterized TCR beta-chain (TRB) genes from the recently sequenced rhesus macaque genome that are homologous to the human TRB genes. Comparison of the rhesus macaque TRB genes with the human TRB genes showed an average best match similarity of 92.9%. Furthermore, we confirmed the usage of most rhesus macaque TRB genes by expressed TCRbeta sequences within epitope-specific TCR repertoires. This primary description of the rhesus macaque TRB genes will provide a standardized nomenclature and enable better characterization of TCR usage in studies that use this species.

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