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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Sep 5;308(4):899-905.

RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene sequence from foot-and-mouth disease virus in Hong Kong.

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Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China.


A foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV, HKN/2002) was isolated in Hong Kong in 2002. The nucleotide sequence of the 3D(pol) gene encoding the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase was determined and compared with that of the same gene from other FMDVs. The 3D(pol) gene was 1410 nucleotides in length encoding a protein of 470 amino acid residues. Sequence comparisons indicated that HKN/2002 belonged to serotype O. An evolutionary tree based on the 3D(pol) sequences of 20 FMDV isolates revealed that the nucleotide sequence of the HKN/2002 3D(pol) gene was most similar to those of isolates found in Taiwan in 1997, suggesting that they share a common ancestor. The amino acid sequence of the HKN/2002 3D(pol) gene was determined and aligned with those of representative isolates from seven other Picornaviridae genera. Eight highly conserved regions were detected, indicating a conserved functional relevance for these motifs. Alignment of 20 FMDV 3D(pol) amino acid sequences revealed a hypermutation region near the N-terminus that may help the virus evade host immune systems.

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