Short nucleotide sequence analysis of seven restriction fragments of murine herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) DNA has been undertaken and used to determine the overall genome organization and relatedness of this virus to other well characterized representatives of the alpha-, beta- and gammaherpesvirus subgroups. Nine genes have been identified which encode amino acid sequences with greater similarity to proteins of the gammaherpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) than to the homologous products of the alphaherpesviruses varicella-zoster virus and herpes simples virus type 1 or the betaherpesvirus human cytomegalovirus. In addition, the genome organization of MHV-68 is shown to have an overall collinearity with that of the gamma-herpesviruses EBV and herpesvirus saimiri. In common with these viruses, dinucleotide frequency analysis of MHV-68 coding sequences reveals a marked reduction in CpG dinucleotide frequency thus implicating a dividing cell population as the site of latency .


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