Functional antibody genes are often assembled by VDJ recombination and then diversified by somatic hypermutation. Identifying the combination of sourcing germline genes is critical to understand the process of antibody maturation, which may facilitate the diagnostics and rapid generation of human monoclonal antibodies in therapeutics. Despite of successful efforts in V and J fragment assignment, method in D segment tracing remains weak for immunoglobulin heavy diversity (IGHD).
In this paper, we presented a D-sensitive mapping method called DSab-origin with accuracies around 90% in human monoclonal antibody data and average 95.8% in mouse data. Besides, DSab-origin achieved the best performance in holistic prediction of VDJ segments assignment comparing with other methods commonly used in simulation data. After that, an application example was explored on the antibody response based on a time-series antibody sequencing data after influenza vaccination. The result indicated that, despite the personal response among different donors, IGHV3-7 and IGHD4-17 were likely to be dominated gene segments in these three donors.
This work filled in a computational gap in D segment assignment for VDJ germline gene identification in antibody research. And it offered an application example of DSab-origin for studying the antibody maturation process after influenza vaccination.