The nucleotide sequence of bovine papillomavirus type 4 (BPV-4) was determined. The viral genome is 7261 base pairs long. Several overlapping open reading frames (ORFs) have been identified both on the basis of amino acid comparison with other papillomaviruses and on their transcriptional pattern. Eight early ORFs (E1 to 8) were recognized, coding for DNA replication and cell transformation functions, and three late ORFs (L1 to 3), coding for structural proteins. Like the E5 ORF of human papillomavirus type 6 the E5 ORF of BPV-4 is discontinuous. Unlike other papillomaviruses, the non-coding region upstream of the early ORFs (ncr-1) is short (385 base pairs), but there is another non-coding region (ncr-2) of nearly 500 base pairs between the L2 and L1 ORFs. Most of the putative regulatory sites are located in the ncr-1, although potential controlling elements are also found in other parts of the genome. Polyadenylation sites are present at the 3′ end of both the early and the late transcription units. Comparison between the polypeptides of BPV-4 and other papillomaviruses showed that BPV-4 is evolutionarily closer to the epitheliotropic human and rabbit viruses than to BPV-1.


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