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Virology. 2000 Nov 25;277(2):368-78.

Species-specific TT viruses in humans and nonhuman primates and their phylogenetic relatedness.

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Immunology Division and Division of Molecular Virology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi-Ken 329-0498, Japan.


By means of polymerase chain reaction with a primer pair (NG133-NG147) deduced from the untranslated region (UTR) of TT virus (TTV), TTVs with markedly distinct genomic lengths were recovered from sera of humans and nonhuman primates, and their entire nucleotide sequences were determined. A human TTV [TGP96 of 2908 nucleotides (nt)] was obtained that was about 900 nt shorter than heretofore reported TTVs (3787-3853 nt). Likewise, TTVs of chimpanzee occurred in two distinct genomic sizes [Pt-TTV6 (3690 nt) and Pt-TTV8-II (2785 nt)]. Two TTVs of Japanese macaque [Mf-TTV3 (3798 nt) and Mf-TTV9 (3763 nt)] were comparable in genomic length, but only 55% similar in sequence. These five human and nonhuman primate TTVs, along with TTVs of tamarin [So-TTV2 (3371 nt)] and douroucouli [At-TTV3 (3718 nt)], were compared over the entire nucleotide sequence. Although the seven TTVs were only < or = 55% similar, they share a common genomic organization with two open reading frames (ORFs), designated ORF1 (654-735 amino acids) and ORF2 (91-152 amino acids). The N-terminal sequences of ORF1 proteins were rich in arginine, and sequence motifs necessary for transcription and replication were conserved among them all. Like the human prototype TTV (TA278), all seven TTVs from various animals possessed in common two 15-nt sequences (CGAATGGCTGAGTTT and AGGGGCAATTCGGGC) in the UTR that were covered by NG133 and NG147, respectively. These primers would be instrumental in research on TTVs in previously unexamined species for defining their virological characteristics and evolutionary relationships.

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