Orientation-specific RAG activity in chromosomal loop domains contributes to Tcrd V(D)J recombination during T cell development

Published on Aug 22, 2016in Journal of Experimental Medicine10.892
· DOI :10.1084/jem.20160670
Lijuan Zhao5
Estimated H-index: 5
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute),
Richard L. Frock15
Estimated H-index: 15
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
+ 4 AuthorsFrederick W. Alt156
Estimated H-index: 156
(HHMI: Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
T cell antigen receptor δ ( Tcrd ) variable region exons are assembled by RAG-initiated V(D)J recombination events in developing γδ thymocytes. Here, we use linear amplification–mediated high-throughput genome-wide translocation sequencing (LAM-HTGTS) to map hundreds of thousands of RAG-initiated Tcrd D segment ( Trdd1 and Trdd2 ) rearrangements in CD4−CD8− double-negative thymocyte progenitors differentiated in vitro from bone marrow–derived hematopoietic stem cells. We find that Trdd2 joins directly to Trdv , Trdd1, and Trdj segments, whereas Trdd1 joining is ordered with joining to Trdd2 , a prerequisite for further rearrangement. We also find frequent, previously unappreciated, Trdd1 and Trdd2 rearrangements that inactivate Tcrd , including sequential rearrangements from V(D)J recombination signal sequence fusions. Moreover, we find dozens of RAG off-target sequences that are generated via RAG tracking both upstream and downstream from the Trdd2 recombination center across the Tcrd loop domain that is bounded by the upstream INT1-2 and downstream TEA elements. Disruption of the upstream INT1-2 boundary of this loop domain allows spreading of RAG on- and off-target activity to the proximal Trdv domain and, correspondingly, shifts the Tcrd V(D)J recombination landscape by leading to predominant V(D)J joining to a proximal Trdv3 pseudogene that lies just upstream of the normal boundary.
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