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Computational Identification of B Cell Clones in High-Throughput Immunoglobulin Sequencing Data

<p> Humoral immunity is driven by the expansion, somatic hypermutation, and selection of B cell clones. Each clone is the progeny of a single B cell responding to antigen. with diversified Ig receptors. The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies enables deep profiling of the Ig repertoire. This large-scale characterization provides a window into the micro-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive immune response and has a variety of applications in basic science and clinical studies. Clonal relationships are not directly measured, but must be computationally inferred from these sequencing data. In this dissertation, we use a combination of human experimental and simulated data to characterize the performance of hierarchical clustering-based methods for partitioning sequences into clones. Our results suggest that hierarchical clustering using single linkage with nucleotide Hamming distance identifies clones with high confidence and provides a fully automated method for clonal grouping. The performance estimates we develop provide important context to interpret clonal analysis of repertoire sequencing data and allow for rigorous testing of other clonal grouping algorithms. We present the clonal grouping tool as well as other tools for advanced analyses of large-scale Ig repertoire sequencing data through a suite of utilities, Change-O. All Change-O tools utilize a common data format, which enables the seamless integration of multiple analyses into a single workflow. We then apply the Change-O suite in concert with the nucleotide coding se- quences for WNV-specific antibodies derived from single cells to identify expanded WNV-specific clones in the repertoires of recently infected subjects through quantitative Ig repertoire sequencing analysis. The method proposed in this dissertation to computationally identify B cell clones in Ig repertoire sequencing data with high confidence is made available through the Change-O suite and can be applied to provide insight into the dynamics of the adaptive immune response.</p><p>
Date08 September 2017
CreatorsGupta, Namita
PublisherYale University
Detected LanguageEnglish

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