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J Virol. 1996 Sep;70(9):5975-89.

Determination and analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence of human herpesvirus.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.


Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) is a recently isolated betaherpesvirus that is prevalent in the human population, with primary infection usually occurring in early childhood. HHV-7 is related to human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) in terms of both biological and, from limited prior DNA sequence analysis, genetic criteria. However, extensive analysis of the HHV-7 genome has not been reported, and the precise phylogenetic relationship of HHV-7 to the other human betaherpesviruses HHV-6 and human cytomegalovirus has not been determined. Here I report on the determination and analysis of the complete DNA sequence of HHV-7 strain JI. The data establish that the close biological relationship of HHV-6 and HHV-7 is reflected at the genetic level, where there is a very high degree of conservation of genetic content and encoded amino acid sequences. The data also delineate loci of divergence between the HHV-6 and HHV-7 genomes, which occur at the genome terminal in the region of the terminal direct-repeat elements and within limited regions of the unique component. Of potential significance with respect to biological and evolutionary divergence of HHV-6 and HHV-7 are notable structural differences in putative transcriptional regulatory genes specified by the direct-repeat and immediate-early region A loci of these viruses and the absence of an equivalent of the HHV-6 adeno-associated virus type 2 rep gene homolog in HHV-7.

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