The complete nucleotide sequence of gene 3 of pneumonia virus of mice has been determined, and the 5′ end of the mRNA mapped using a modification of the polymerase chain reaction technique. The gene contains a single open reading frame, beginning with a 5′-proximal AUG initiation codon, encoding a polypeptide with a predicted of 43141. Expression of the gene 3 protein in and showed that it reacted with virus-specific antiserum and comigrated with the major nucleocapsid (N) polypeptide. The predicted amino acid sequence has extensive identity with that of the N protein of human respiratory syncytial virus. Comparisons with the amino acid sequences of N proteins of other paramyxo-viruses, vesicular stomatitis virus and Ebola virus suggest that these proteins may have retained much of the same structure. These regions of conserved structure would most likely have the common functions of RNA binding and protein/protein interactions in the virus nucleocapsid.


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