We have cloned the cDNA of the fusion (F) gene of the virulent (Kabete O) strain of rinderpest virus and provided a comparative analysis of its sequence with that of the F genes of measles and distemper viruses. The gene has an open reading frame of 2241 nucleotides with two potential initiation codons in-frame. Use of the first ATG would produce a polypeptide 747 amino acids long with a calculated molecular weight of 81,068. However, we suggest that the second ATG is used to generate the F0 protein, which is 546 amino acids long with a calculated molecular weight of 58,754. During maturation, the cleavage of F0 gives rise to the functional F1 and F2 polypeptides. The F1 polypeptide is 438 amino acids long and has a calculated molecular weight of 46,791, with a single (potential) glycosylation site in its cytoplasmic domain. The F2 polypeptide, probably 89 amino acids long after the signal sequence is cleaved, is estimated to be 9,800 Da and has three potential glycosylation sites. There is a divergence of 18.7% in amino acid sequences between rinderpest and measles virus F0 polypeptides; between distemper and rinderpest viruses the divergence is 31.8%. No significant homology in nucleotide sequences of rinderpest DNA to measles or distemper DNA was found in the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases