Nurse shark T-cell receptors employ somatic hypermutation preferentially to alter alpha/delta variable segments associated with alpha constant region. Academic Article uri icon


  • In addition to canonical TCR and BCR, cartilaginous fish assemble noncanonical TCR that employ various B-cell components. For example, shark Tcells associate alpha (TCR-) or delta (TCR-) constant (C) regions with Ig heavy chain (H) variable (V) segments or TCR-associated Ig-like V (TAILV) segments to form chimeric IgV-TCR, and combine TCRC with both Ig-like and TCR-like V segments to form the doubly rearranging NAR-TCR. Activation-induced (cytidine) deaminase-catalyzed somatic hypermutation (SHM), typically used for B-cell affinity maturation, also is used by TCR- during selection in the shark thymus presumably to salvage failing receptors. Here, we found that the use of SHM by nurse shark TCR varies depending on the particular V segment or C region used. First, SHM significantly alters alpha/delta V (TCRV) segments using TCR C but not C. Second, mutation to IgHV segments associated with TCR C was reduced compared to mutation to TCR V associated with TCR C. Mutation was present but limited in V segments of all other TCR chains including NAR-TCR. Unexpectedly, we found preferential rearrangement of the noncanonical IgHV-TCRC over canonical TCR V-TCRC receptors. The differential use of SHM may reveal how activation-induced (cytidine) deaminase targets V regions.

published proceedings

  • Eur J Immunol

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Ott, J. A., Harrison, J., Flajnik, M. F., & Criscitiello, M. F.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Ott, Jeannine A||Harrison, Jenna||Flajnik, Martin F||Criscitiello, Michael F

publication date

  • January 2020