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A genome sequence of novel SARS-CoV isolates: the genotype, GD-Ins29, leads to a hypothesis of viral transmission in South China.

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Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.


We report a complete genomic sequence of rare isolates (minor genotype) of the SARS-CoV from SARS patients in Guangdong, China, where the first few cases emerged. The most striking discovery from the isolate is an extra 29-nucleotide sequence located at the nucleotide positions between 27,863 and 27,864 (referred to the complete sequence of BJ01) within an overlapped region composed of BGI-PUP5 (BGI-postulated uncharacterized protein 5) and BGI-PUP6 upstream of the N (nucleocapsid) protein. The discovery of this minor genotype, GD-Ins29, suggests a significant genetic event and differentiates it from the previously reported genotype, the dominant form among all sequenced SARS-CoV isolates. A 17-nt segment of this extra sequence is identical to a segment of the same size in two human mRNA sequences that may interfere with viral replication and transcription in the cytosol of the infected cells. It provides a new avenue for the exploration of the virus-host interaction in viral evolution, host pathogenesis, and vaccine development.

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