The sequence of the H gene and flanking sequences in the F and L genes of canine distemper virus (CDV) have been determined. The H gene of CDV (1946 nucleotides) contains one large open reading frame starting at position 21 and terminating at position 1835, encoding a protein of 604 amino acid residues. This protein contains three potential glycosylation sites in the extracellular domain and, like all other paramyxoviruses, a N-terminal membrane-spanning hydrophobic anchor domain. The deduced H protein sequence shows an identity of 36% with rinderpest virus (RPV) and measles virus (MV). The identities at the nucleotide level are higher (RPV 52% and MV 53%). The amino acid sequence shows conservation of all the structural determinants with the H proteins of MV and RPV. The data also show that CDV is evolutionarily equidistant to RPV and MV with respect to the H gene.


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