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J Virol. 1980 Feb;33(2):619-30.

Polyoma virus DNA: complete nucleotide sequence of the gene which codes for polyoma virus capsid protein VP1 and overlaps the VP2/VP3 genes.


The nucleotide sequence of part of the late region of the polyoma virus genome was determined. It contains coding information for the major capsid protein VP1 and the C-terminal region of the minor proteins VP2 and VP3. In the sequence with the same polarity as late mRNA's, all coding frames are blocked by termination codons in a region around 48 units on the physical map. This is the region where the N-terminus of VP1 and the C-termini of VP2 and VP3 have been located (T. Hunter and W. Gibson, J. Virol. 28:240-253, 1978; S. G. Siddell and A. E. Smith, J. Virol. 27:427-431, 1978; Smith et al., Cell 9:481-487, 1976). There are two long uninterrupted coding frames in the late region of polyoma virus DNA. One lies at the 5' end of the sequence and contains potential coding sequences for VP2 and VP3. The other contains 383 consecutive sense codons starting with the ATG at nucleotide position 1,218, extends from 47.5 to 25.8 units counterclockwise on the physical map, and is located where the VP1 gene has been mapped. The VP1 gene overlaps the genes for proteins VP2/VP3 by 32 nucleotides and uses a different coding frame. From the DNA sequence, the amino acid sequence of VP1 was predicted. The proposed VP1 sequence is in good agreement with other data, namely, with the partial N-terminal amino acid sequence and the total amino acid composition. The VP1 coding frame terminates with a TAA codon at 25.8 map units. This is followed by an AATAAA sequence, which may act as a processing signal for the viral late mRNA's. When both nucleotide and amino acid sequences are compared with their counterparts in the related simian virus 40, extensive homologies are found over the entire region of the two viral genomes. Maximum homology appears to occur in those regions which code for the C-termini of the VP1 proteins. The overlap region of VP1 with VP2/VP3 of polyoma virus is shorter by 90 nucleotides than is that of simian virus 40 and shows very limited homology with the simian virus 40 sequence. This leads to the suggestion that the overlap segments of both viruses have been freed from stringency imposed on drifting during evolution and that proteins VP2 and VP3 of polyoma virus may have been truncated by the appearance of a termination codon within the sequence.

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