Natively paired sequencing (NPS) of B cell receptors [variable heavy (VH) and light (VL)] and T cell receptors (TCRβ and TCRα) is essential for the understanding of adaptive immunity in health and disease. Despite many recent technical advances, determining the VH:VL or TCRβ:α repertoire with high accuracy and throughput remains challenging. We discovered that the recently engineered xenopolymerase, RTX, is exceptionally resistant to cell lysate inhibition in single-cell emulsion droplets. We capitalized on the characteristics of this enzyme to develop a simple, rapid, and inexpensive in-droplet overlap extension reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method for NPS not requiring microfluidics or other specialized equipment. Using this technique, we obtained high yields (5000 to >20,000 per sample) of paired VH:VL or TCRβ:α clonotypes at low cost. As a demonstration, we performed NPS on peripheral blood plasmablasts and T follicular helper cells following seasonal influenza vaccination and discovered high-affinity influenza-specific antibodies and TCRβ:α.
ASJC Scopus subject areas