Send to

Choose Destination
Virology. 1992 Sep;190(1):92-105.

Genetic evolution and tropism of transmissible gastroenteritis coronaviruses.

Author information

Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC-UAM, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) is an enteropathogenic coronavirus isolated for the first time in 1946. Nonenteropathogenic porcine respiratory coronaviruses (PRCVs) have been derived from TGEV. The genetic relationship among six European PRCVs and five coronaviruses of the TGEV antigenic cluster has been determined based on their RNA sequences. The S protein of six PRCVs have an identical deletion of 224 amino acids starting at position 21. The deleted area includes the antigenic sites C and B of TGEV S glycoprotein. Interestingly, two viruses (NEB72 and TOY56) with respiratory tropism have S proteins with a size similar to the enteric viruses. NEB72 and TOY56 viruses have in the S protein 2 and 15 specific amino acid differences with the enteric viruses. Four of the residues changed (aa 219 of NEB72 isolate and aa 92, 94, and 218 of TOY56) are located within the deletion present in the PRCVs and may be involved in the receptor binding site (RBS) conferring enteric tropism to TGEVs. A second RBS used by the virus to infect ST cells might be located in a conserved area between sites A and D of the S glycoprotein, since monoclonal antibodies specific for these sites inhibit the binding of the virus to ST cells. An evolutionary tree relating 13 enteric and respiratory isolates has been proposed. According to this tree, a main virus lineage evolved from a recent progenitor virus which was circulating around 1941. From this, secondary lineages originated PUR46, NEB72, TOY56, MIL65, BR170, and the PRCVs, in this order. Least squares estimation of the origin of TGEV-related coronaviruses showed a significant constancy in the fixation of mutations with time, that is, the existence of a well-defined molecular clock. A mutation fixation rate of 7 +/- 2 x 10(-4) nucleotide substitutions per site and per year was calculated for TGEV-related viruses. This rate falls in the range reported for other RNA viruses. Point mutations and probably recombination events have occurred during TGEV evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center