Abstract

 

Immune repertoire is a collection of enormously diverse adaptive immune cells within an individual. As the repertoire shapes and represents immunological conditions, identification of clones and characterization of diversity are critical for understanding how to protect ourselves against various illness such as infectious diseases and cancers. Over the past several years, fast growing technologies for high throughput sequencing have facilitated rapid advancement of repertoire research, enabling us to observe the diversity of repertoire at an unprecedented level. Here, we focus on B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire and review approaches to B cell isolation and sequencing library construction. These experiments should be carefully designed according to BCR regions to be interrogated, such as heavy chain full length, complementarity determining regions, and isotypes. We also highlight preprocessing steps to remove sequencing and PCR errors with unique molecular index and bioinformatics techniques. Due to the nature of massive sequence variation in BCR, caution is warranted when interpreting repertoire diversity from error-prone sequencing data. Furthermore, we provide a summary of statistical frameworks and bioinformatics tools for clonal evolution and diversity. Finally, we discuss limitations of current BCR-seq technologies and future perspectives on advances in repertoire sequencing.