We have cloned the replicative form (RF-) DNA of mink enteritis virus (MEV), constructed an infectious recombinant plasmid containing MEV DNA and determined the nucleotide sequence of the cloned MEV DNA. RF-DNAs were detected and infectious virus was generated when the recombinant plasmid containing the entire MEV genome was introduced into feline kidney cell cultures. The MEV genome was 5094 nucleotides (nt) in length; the 3′ end of the virion strand contained a 205 nt palindromic sequence and the 5′ end a 62 nt palindromic sequence that could assume Y- and U-shaped configurations, respectively. The 5′ end of the virion strand had a direct repeat of 61 nt at the carboxyl terminus of the capsid protein gene. The organization of the MEV genome is similar to those of canine parvovirus (CPV) and feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV); there are two large open reading frames (ORFs), one in the 3′ half and the other in the 5′ half of the genome, with coding capacities of 668 and 722 amino acid residues, respectively. Both are in the same reading frame and no significant ORFs are apparent in the virion strand (negative-sense strand). Possible functional promoter motifs are located at map unit (m.u.) 4·5 and m.u. 40, and a possible functional poly(A) signal is located at m.u. 96. The nucleotide and amino acid sequence homology with CPV and FPLV is greater than 98%, consistent with the hypothesis that MEV and CPV are host-range variants of FPLV.


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