The genomic region encoding the major capsid protein (hexon) of murine adenovirus type 1 (MAV-1) has been isolated and sequenced. The sequence predicts a 908 residue MAV-1 hexon protein and is flanked by a portion of the upstream pVI gene and the downstream endoproteinase gene. The order of these genes and their location in the middle of the genome are the same as those found in other adenoviruses sequenced to date. Multiple sequence alignment with the other five known hexon protein sequences reveals an overall residue identity of 51% and residue conservation of 66%. In comparison with human adenovirus type 2 (Ad2), MAV-1 hexon has major deletions between residues 141 to 170, 270 to 284 and 446 to 455. Since these regions in the Ad2 hexon are partially exposed on the outer surface of the virion, they may represent type-specific antigenic determinants. The MAV-1 hexon sequence has been modelled using the known three-dimensional structure of the Ad2 hexon. The variable regions in which the mutations, deletions and insertions occur are located in the 1 and 1 loops of the molecule that form the protruding hexon towers on the external surface of the virion.


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