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Functional analyses of polymorphic variants of human terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase.

Genes and immunity (2015-06-05)
A Troshchynsky, I Dzneladze, L Chen, Y Sheng, V Saridakis, G E Wu
ABSTRACT

Human terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (hTdT) is a DNA polymerase that functions to generate diversity in the adaptive immune system. Here, we focus on the function of naturally occurring single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of hTdT to evaluate their role in genetic-generated immune variation. The data demonstrate that the genetic variations generated by the hTdT SNPs will vary the human immune repertoire and thus its responses. Human TdT catalyzes template-independent addition of nucleotides (N-additions) during coding joint formation in V(D)J recombination. Its activity is crucial to the diversity of the antigen receptors of B and T lymphocytes. We used in vitro polymerase assays and in vivo human cell V(D)J recombination assays to evaluate the activity and the N-addition levels of six natural (SNP) variants of hTdT. In vitro, the variants differed from wild-type hTdT in polymerization ability with four having significantly lower activity. In vivo, the presence of TdT varied both the efficiency of recombination and N-addition, with two variants generating coding joints with significantly fewer N-additions. Although likely heterozygous, individuals possessing these genetic changes may have less diverse B- and T-cell receptors that would particularly effect individuals prone to adaptive immune disorders, including autoimmunity.

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