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Vet Microbiol. 1996 Nov;53(1-2):79-89.

Bovine herpesvirus 4: genomic organization and relationship with two other gammaherpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus and herpesvirus saimiri.

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  • 1Department of Virology-Immunology, Fac. Vet. Med., University of Li├Ęge, Belgium.


Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BHV-4) belongs to the gammaherpesvirinae subfamily. Although the whole sequence of BHV-4 genome is not known it was possible, based on random sequencing, to assume that its genomic organization consists of genes clustered in blocks whose orientation and location in the genome are conserved within a herpesvirus subfamily. Between these blocks lie genes which are specific to either a particular virus or a virus subfamily. BHV-4 genome consists of 5 gene blocks conserved among the gammaherpesviruses and particularly within the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) genomes. Analysis of the regions located outside the gene blocks showed the presence of 12 open reading frames (ORFs). Protein database comparisons showed that no ORF translation products were similar to proteins encoded by alpha- or beta-herpesviruses. Nevertheless, 5 ORFs were homologous in amino acid sequences to proteins encoded by HVS and one was similar to a protein encoded by both HVS and EBV. On the basis of the molecular data BHV-4 is more closely related to HVS than to EBV. Genes homologous to cellular genes have been described in both HVS and EBV genomes. No genes homologous to presently sequenced cellular genes were found among those found in the BHV-4 genome to date.

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