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Gene. 1987;56(1):1-12.

Nucleotide sequence and molecular evolution of mouse retrovirus-like IAP elements.

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National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan.


We determined the nucleotide (nt) sequences of cDNA and genomic clones for murine intracisternal type A particle (IAP) elements, which are retrovirus-like repetitive sequences in rodent genomes. The nucleotide sequence of the cDNA resembled that of retrovirus RNA genomes in its lack of the U5 sequence within the 3' long terminal repeat. By sequence comparison of our clones with reported rodent IAP elements, we located the probable gag, pol and env gene regions. The sequences for the pol, env and the 3' two-thirds of the gag region were conserved among the IAP elements. In the regions, synonymous substitutions occurred more frequently than non-synonymous ones, which suggested that the regions in question were functionally constrained until fairly recently. The rate of nucleotide substitutions in the regions was estimated to be 6-10 X 10(-9) nt per site per year, and significantly higher than that of the cellular genes. These rates may exemplify a characteristic of the nucleotide substitutions for an endogenous retrovirus. The sequence homology between the IAP element and IgE-binding factor gene is discussed.

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