The nucleotide sequences of the phosphoprotein (P)/V/C and matrix (M) protein genes of phocine distemper virus (PDV) have been determined and the deduced amino acid sequences of the proteins derived from these genes compared with those of the other morbilliviruses. The 1655 nucleotides of the P gene encode a phosphoprotein of 507 amino acid residues (from nucleotide numbers 60 to 1583) which is 75% identical to that of canine distemper virus (CDV). The C proteins of the two viruses are 73% identical. The C protein has the same length, 174 amino acid residues, as C of CDV. The nucleotide sequences of the P genes are 78% identical. The editing site in the P gene is present as a stretch of 18 nucleotides, conserved in all other morbilliviruses. A V-like protein can be accessed by insertion of one G residue at this site. The P and M genes are separated from adjacent genes and each other by the CTT trinucleotide sequence which is totally conserved in morbilliviruses. The M gene is 1447 nucleotides long and encodes a typical paramyxovirus M protein of 335 amino acids (identical in length to those of CDV, measles virus and rinderpest virus). The gene is 78% identical to CDV in the coding region (nucleotides 32 to 1039) but only 34% identical to CDV in the 407 nucleotides of the 3′ untranslated sequence of the M mRNA. The M protein of PDV is 91% identical to the M protein of CDV. The data demonstrate interesting variations in the level of conservation of various genome areas and prove the distinct nature of PDV.


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