The DNA polymerase gene of the multinucleocapsid nuclear polyhedrosis virus (LdMNPV) was cloned and sequenced. The predicted DNA polymerase protein (1113 amino acids, 115.9K) was found to have an amino acid identity of 48% with the corresponding gene of the MNPV (AcMNPV). It contains five domains associated with substrate binding, primase interaction, and pyrophosphate hydrolysis and three domains associated with 3′»5′ exonuclease activity common to other DNA polymerases. A region with a conserved TATA promoter and a CAGT mRNA start site sequence motif was identified and shown to be transcribed by RNA polymerase II, indicating that the LdMNPV DNA polymerase gene is expressed as an early gene. An open reading frame possibly expressed as a late gene, oriented in the opposite direction and overlapping the N-terminal coding region of the DNA polymerase gene was found in the LdMNPV sequence and was shown to be conserved in the same position in AcMNPV.


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