The gene for the major capsid protein (hexon) of fowl adenovirus serotype 10 (FAV-10) has been identified by the use of the expression vector pGEX and rabbit polyclonal antisera raised against FAV-10. The nucleotide sequence of the entire hexon gene has been determined. Sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 2808 bp coding for a putative polypeptide 936 amino acids long with a molecular mass of 105.5 kDa. The translation initiation codon has a local sequence which conforms with the optimal translation start sequence of CC(A/G)CCATGG. The location of the hexon gene in the FAV genome was from 46.85 to 52.81 map units, which is to the left of the hexon gene in the genomes of both bovine and human adenoviruses (52.4 to 60.5 map units). A splice acceptor site was identified 12 bp upstream of the initiation codon by using mRNA and PCR. It had the sequence TAGG which conforms to the consensus sequence of (C/T)AGG. Comparison of the amino acid sequence of the FAV-10 hexon with those of the bovine, human and murine hexon gene products revealed highest levels of identity occurring in the regions corresponding to the pedestals which form the base region of the hexon, and the lowest levels of identity in the regions corresponding to the loops which are exposed to the external environment.


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