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Virology. 1990 Apr;175(2):391-409.

Nucleotide sequence and genome organization of biologically active proviruses of the bovine immunodeficiency-like virus.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Structure, NCl-Frederick Cancer Research Facility, Maryland 21701.


The complete nucleotide sequences and translations of major open reading frames (ORF) of two distinct, infectious, proviral molecular clones (106 and 127) of the bovine immunodeficiency-like virus (BIV), obtained from a single virus isolation, were determined and compared. The genomes of BIV 127 and 106 are 8482 and 8391 nucleotides (nt), respectively, in the form predicted for the viral RNA. The structural organization of the genomes of BIV 127 and 106 are identical to one another and most similar to that of the lentivirus subfamily of retroviruses. In addition to gag, pol, and env genes, the BIV genome contains five short ORFs between and overlapping pol and env in the "central region," a hallmark of the lentiviruses which is believed to play an important role in their pathogenesis. Three of the short ORFs in the central region of BIV have been identified by location and structural similarity to the nonstructural/regulatory genes (vif, tat, and rev) of other lentiviruses; we also discovered two unique ORFs, termed W and Y, which may serve as exons for novel genes. BIV does not have the nef gene found in primate lentivirus genomes. The proviral LTR of BIV 127 is 589 nt, contains regulatory signals for initiation, enhancement, and termination of viral transcription, and has sequences related to the Sp1 and NF-kappa B binding sites. A major deletion (87 nt) in the env gene and 2 minor deletions (2 nt each) in the R regions of the LTRs account for the smaller size of clone 106. Numerous point mutations were also present; some caused coding substitutions that were most prevalent in the env encoding ORF. These data suggest that, within a single virus isolate, BIV displays extensive genomic variation. These infectious clones of BIV represent well-defined tools with which to analyze the function of the various ORFs and to dissect the molecular mechanisms of replication and pathogenesis.

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