New Leadership and Governance for IG/TR/MH Sub-Committee

December 6, 2022Nomenclature Committee (NOM)

The IG/TR/MH Nomenclature Sub-committee is responsible for nomenclature of immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor germline genes (IG and TR, respectively), as well as MHC genes of non-human species. Marie-Paule Lefranc, Emerita Professor of the University of Montpellier and previous Director of the International Immunogenetics Information System® (IMGT), has approved submissions and provided names for these genes as Chair of the Sub-committee and the IMGT-NC Reports Review Committee.

At the beginning of 2022, the Chair of the Nomenclature Committee, Dr. Menno van Zelm, and the IUIS Executive Committee tasked a temporary leadership committee with transforming the IG/TR/MH Sub-committee into an active committee following democratic and transparent principles of governance. During 2022, the Sub-committee adopted new Terms of Reference, elected two co-Chairs, Dr. Felix Breden (Canada) and Dr. John Hammond (UK), and conducted a search and ratification of 6 new members of the IMGT-NC Reports Review Committee.

In recognition of the important nomenclature work conducted by Professor Marie-Paule Lefranc, the revitalized Sub-committee plans to retain as much as possible the present framework for approving and naming IG and TR alleles. The Sub-committee also intends to preserve the relationship established under Prof. Lefranc’s leadership between the IMGT-NC Reports RC and the Inferred Allele Review Committee (IARC) of the AIRR Community. The IARC reviews and approves new IG and TR alleles inferred from deep sequencing of adaptive immune (antibody/B-cell and T-cell) receptor repertoire sequencing (AIRR-seq) data, curates these in the Open Germline Receptor Database (OGRDB), and has been working with IMGT and IMGT-NC Reports RC to integrate these into the IMGT germline gene database.

The revised IMGT-NC Reports Review Committee will be tasked with:
• approving submissions
• naming new IG and TR germline gene sequences whose locus/position is known.
• re-evaluating IUIS’s role in assigning IG and TR nomenclature
• assigning permanent identifiers to track the advancement of new IG and TR allele sequences through validation, (naming) and addition to one or more reference s
• adopting a new name

The immediate goals for the revitalized Sub-committee during this time of transition are:
• Explore formal a relationship between IARC and the Sub-committee
• Stabilize the process for approving submissions and providing names for new genes and alleles
• Ensure that this nomenclature process is open and transparent to the entire immunology and immunogenetics community
• Provide guidance to the community on the multiple germline reference data sets being developed for IG and TR

The overall aim is to promote research by providing a central source of information and support through the coordination of existing and new nomenclature systems.

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