The nucleotide sequences of the coding region of the thymidine kinase (TK) gene of pseudorabies virus strain NIA3 and a TK mutant (ATK5) were determined. The coding region of the TK gene consists of 320 codons capable of producing a polypeptide with an of 34979. The mutant expressed an inactive TK polypeptide when translated ; a unique base substitution was detected in the mutant TK modifying amino acid position 13, at which aspartic acid replaces glycine. This modification affects the nucleotide-binding site, thus explaining the expression of an inactive TK polypeptide.


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