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Virus Res. 2008 Sep;136(1-2):81-90. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2008.04.021. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Complete genomes of Aravan, Khujand, Irkut and West Caucasian bat viruses, with special attention to the polymerase gene and non-coding regions.

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Rabies Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS G-33 Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


The purpose of this study was to generate complete genome sequences of Aravan (ARAV), Khujand (KHUV), Irkut (IRKV) and West Caucasian bat (WCBV) viruses, and to compare them with genomes of other lyssaviruses. We focused on RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (L) and non-coding regions, because other genes of these viruses have been described previously. The L protein is organized into six conserved blocks (I-VI), previously detected in all Mononegavirales. Furthermore, lyssaviruses have two additional conserved regions, L1 and L2, located in the COOH part of the L. L1 may be responsible for methylation of viral mRNA cap structures, whereas the significance of L2 is unclear. Phylogenetic patterns based on the L are similar to those described for the nucleoprotein. The WCBV is the most divergent member of the genus. Besides phylogeny, it has a short trailer region (57 nucleotides versus 69-70 nucleotides in other lyssaviruses) and different intergenic region lengths, including an exceptionally long non-coding region of the glycoprotein (697 nucleotides) containing a potential open reading frame of 180 nucleotides. The absence of a flanking transcription initiation signal, as well as Northern and Western blot data, suggests that this region is not independently transcribed but is a part of G mRNA.

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