Numerous studies of relatively few patients have linked T cell receptor (TCR) genes to psoriasis but have yielded dramatically conflicting results. To resolve these discrepancies, we have chosen to mine RNA-Seq datasets for patterns of TCR gene segment usage in psoriasis. A meta-analysis of 3 existing and 1 unpublished datasets revealed a statistically significant link between the relative expression of TRAJ23 and psoriasis and the psoriasis-associated cytokine IL-17A. TRGV5, a TCR-γ segment, was also associated with psoriasis but correlated instead with IL-36A, other IL-36 family members, and IL-17C (not IL-17A). In contrast, TRAJ39 was strongly associated with healthy skin. T cell diversity measurements and analysis of CDR3 sequences were also conducted, revealing no psoriasis-associated public CDR3 sequences. Finally, in comparison with the expression of TCR-αβ genes, the expression of TCR-γδ genes was relatively low but mildly elevated in psoriatic skin. These results have implications for the development of targeted therapies for psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases. Also, the techniques employed in this study have applications in other fields, such as cancer immunology and infectious disease.
Alexander A. Merleev, Alina I. Marusina, Chelsea Ma, James T. Elder, Lam C. Tsoi, Siba P. Raychaudhuri, Stephan Weidinger, Elizabeth A. Wang, Iannis E. Adamopoulos, Guillaume Luxardi, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Michiko Shimoda, Emanual Maverakis