Nucleotide sequence of the envelope protein genes of a highly virulent, neurotropic strain of Newcastle disease virus.
The envelope glycoproteins of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) and fusion (F) proteins, play important roles in determining the host immune response and the virulence of that particular virus strain. The complete nucleotide sequence of the HN and F genes of a highly neurovirulent strain of NDV (Texas G. B., 1948) was determined in an effort to study the molecular basis of this strain's neurotropic properties. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequences for the HN and F among the American NDV strains revealed that the Texas G. B. and Beaudette C envelope genes are closely related to each other and are less closely related to the avirulent B1 Hitchner strain. We have found 11 amino acid changes in the predicted HN protein between the Beaudette C and Texas G. B. strain but only 2 conservative amino acid changes (amino acids 11 and 197) in the F protein between these two strains. Although the virulence of NDV strains has been related to sequences at the cleavage site of F0, the property of neurovirulence cannot depend solely upon these sequences because there are no sequence differences between the Beaudette C and Texas G. B. strains. We suggest that the neurovirulence phenotype could be due to the molecular properties of the HN protein; however, we cannot exclude the possibility that the two conservative amino acid differences between the two F proteins could also play a role in determining the phenotypic differences between these two virus strains.
Schaper, UM; Fuller, FJ; Ward, MD; Mehrotra, Y; Stone, HO; Stripp, BR; De Buysscher, EV
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