Tandemly repeated sequences are present at the ends of the DNA of raccoonpox virus.
The DNA of raccoonpox virus (RCN) has been characterized by restriction enzyme analysis. DNA hybridization studies showed that all HindIII fragments of the 215-kbp RCN DNA share some nucleotide sequence similarity with fragments of the DNA of cowpox virus (CPV). This information was used to construct a HindIII restriction map of the RCN DNA. The nucleotide sequence of the 2.2-kbp Sal 1 end fragment of the RCN DNA has been determined from a cloned copy of the HindIII O fragment. Of this 2.2-kb region 75% consists of short, tandemly repeated sequences. It does not contain any open reading frames capable of encoding polypeptide chains of more than 62 amino acids. There are six related types of repeated sequence, and these are arranged into two separate sets, each flanked by nonrepeated sequences. The nucleotide sequences of both repeated and nonrepeated sequences within this Sal 1 fragment are extremely similar to those of the Sal 1-generated end fragments of the DNas of CPV and vaccinia virus. The arrangements of the repeated and nonrepeated sequences are also similar in the DNAs of these three viruses. In contrast, the remainder of the RCN DNA is markedly different from the DNAs of other orthopoxviruses. The high degree of similarity between the ends of the RCN DNA and the ends of the other orthopoxvirus DNAs suggest that the complex arrays of repeated and nonrepeated sequences have been conserved because they have a role in virus multiplication.
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