The thymidine kinase (TK) gene of Shope fibroma virus (SFV), a tumorigenic leporipoxvirus, was localized within the viral genome with degenerate oligonucleotide probes. These probes were constructed to two regions of high sequence conservation between the vaccinia virus TK gene and those of several known eucaryotic cellular TK genes, including human, mouse, hamster, and chicken TK genes. The oligonucleotide probes initially localized the SFV TK gene 50 kilobase (kb) from the right terminus of the 160-kb SFV genome within the 9.5-kb BamHI-HindIII fragment E. Fine-mapping analysis indicated that the TK gene was within a 1.2-kb AvaI-HaeIII fragment, and DNA sequencing of this region revealed an open reading frame capable of encoding a polypeptide of 176 amino acids possessing considerable homology to the TK genes of the vaccinia, variola, and monkeypox orthopoxviruses and also to a variety of cellular TK genes. Homology matrix analysis and homology scores suggest that the SFV TK gene has diverged significantly from its counterpart members in the orthopoxvirus genus. Nevertheless, the presence of conserved upstream open reading frames on the 5' side of all of the poxvirus TK genes indicates a similarity of functional organization between the orthopoxviruses and leporipoxviruses. These data suggest a common ancestral origin for at least some of the unique internal regions of the leporipoxviruses and orthopoxviruses as exemplified by SFV and vaccinia virus, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science