Seven virus-specific RNA transcripts have been identified in tumours induced by bovine papillomavirus type 4 (BPV-4). The RNAs measured 4.2, 3.6, 3.0, 2.8, 1.9, 1.6 and 1.0 kilobases (kb). They were mapped on the viral genome by Northern blot hybridization to subgenomic probes, by cDNA hybridization to viral DNA fragments and by S1 analysis of unlabelled and 3′ and 5′ end-labelled DNA fragments. All the RNA species are transcribed from the same DNA strand, are polyadenylated and with the exception of the 1.0 kb RNA internally spliced. The 3.0, 1.9, 1.6 and 1.0 kb RNAs share the same 3′ polyadenylation site at nucleotide 4009 whereas the 4.2 kb RNA and the 2.8 kb RNA terminate near a polyadenylation site at nucleotide 7187. The 4.2 kb and the 2.8 kb RNAs are transcribed from the late open reading frames and encode the structural polypeptides; the 3.0, 1.9, 1.6 and 1.0 kb RNAs are transcribed from the early open reading frames and are the transcripts involved in viral replication and cellular transformation.


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