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Infect Genet Evol. 2013 Jun;16:248-53. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Genetic diversity and molecular evolution of the rabies virus matrix protein gene in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 155 Changbai St., Changping Dist., Beijing 102206, China.

Abstract

To investigate the diversity of rabies virus (RABV) matrix protein (M) gene in the current Chinese rabies epidemic, we fully examined M gene of 63 street RABVs (Virus isolated from naturally infected animals), and performed phylogenetic and mutational analysis. Our results indicate that the Chinese RABV M gene is well conserved with 90.6% to 100% amino acid similarity. Analysis of the mutations indicates that the sequences can be divided into four groups with each group defined by distinct substitutions. The PPxY motif and residue E58, which are essential for efficient virus production and pathogenicity, were completely conserved. The estimated mean rate of nucleotide substitution was 4.6×10(-4) substitutions per site per year, and the estimated average time of the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) was 265 years ago based on the M gene of Chinese street RABVs, which are similar to previously reported values for the glycoprotein (G) and nucleoprotein (N) gene. This indicates that the genomic RNA of RABVs circulating worldwide is stable; G, N and M genes are evolving at a similar rate. This study showed that although the Chinese RABV strains could be divided into distinct clades based on the phylogenetic analysis, their functional domains of M proteins were highly conserved.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23453987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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