A full length cDNA copy of the NS mRNA of the Missouri strain (Hazelhurst subtype, New Jersey serotype) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has been cloned and sequenced. The mRNA is 856 nucleotides long (excluding polyadenylic acid) and encodes a protein of 274 amino acids (mol. wt. 31000). Comparison with the NS gene of the Ogden strain (Concan subtype, New Jersey serotype) showed 15% difference at the nucleotide level and 10% difference at the amino acid level; the majority of the changes were located in the 3′ half of the mRNA. Comparison with the NS genes of two strains representing the Indiana serotype showed about 50% nucleotide and 33% amino acid sequence homology between the serotypes. In a four-way comparison of the proteins, two regions of higher homology were noted which may be of functional importance. Eighteen potential phosphorylation sites (Ser or Thr) were conserved between the four proteins; five of these sites correspond to the residues which have been suggested to be constitutively phosphorylated and may be essential for NS activity.


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