Tumorigenic poxviruses: Genomic organization and dna sequence of the telomeric region of the shope fibroma virus genome

C. Upton, A. M. DeLange, G. McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Shope fibroma virus (SFV), a tumorigenic poxvirus, has a 160-kb linear double-stranded DNA genome and possesses terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) of 12.4 kb. The DNA sequence of the terminal 5.5 kb of the viral genome is presented and together with previously published sequences completes the entire sequence of the SFV TIR. The terminal 400-bp region contains no major open reading frames (ORFs) but does possess five related imperfect palindromes. The remaining 5.1 kb of the sequence contains seven tightly clustered and tandemly oriented ORFs, four larger than 100 amino acids in length (T1, T2, T4, and T5) and three smaller ORFs (T3A, T3B, and T3C). All are transcribed toward the viral hairpin and almost all possess the consensus sequence TTTTTNT near their Tends which has been implicated for the transcription termination of vaccinia virus early genes. Searches of the published DNA database revealed no sequences with significant homology with this region of the SFV genome but when the protein database was searched with the translation products of ORFs T1-T5 it was found that the N-terminus of the putative T4 polypeptide is closely related to the signal sequence of the hemagglutinin precursor from influenza A virus, suggesting that the T4 polypeptide may be secreted from SFV-infected cells. Examination of other SFV ORFs shows that T1 and T2 also possess signal-like hydrophobic amino acid stretches close to their N-termini. The protein database search also revealed that the putative T2 protein has significant homology to the insulin family of polypeptides. In terms of sequence repetitions, seven tandemly repeated copies of the hexanucleotide ATTGTT and three flanking regions of dyad symmetry were detected, all in ORF T3C. A search for palindromic sequences also revealed two clusters, one in ORF T3A/B and a second in ORF T2. ORF T2 harbors five short sequence domains, each of which consists of a 6-bp short palindrome and a 10- to 18-bp larger palindrome. The significance of these palindromic domains in this ORF is unclear but the coincidence of the end of one larger palindrome with the end of the translated protein sequence that has homology with the B chain of insulin suggests that the palindromes may divide the T2 protein into several functional units. The salient organizational features of the complete SFV TIR are also discussed in light of what is known about other poxviral TIRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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