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BK virus DNA sequence: extent of homology with simian virus 40 DNA.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology


The primary nucleotide sequence of three regions of BK virus (BKV) variant (MM) DNA has been determined. The region between map positions 0.715 and 0.900 includes the initiation points and partial coding sequences of the putative VP2 and VP3 proteins of BKV(MM), the amino acid sequences of which show over 80% homology with those of VP2 and VP3 of simian virus 40. The sequence of a potential leader protein X, 66 amino acids long for BKV(MM) and 62 long for simian virus 40, is also deduced. The regions between 0.595 and 0.398 and 0.310 and 0.175 include the coding sequence for the entire small t antigen and most of the large T antigen of BKV(MM). The DNA sequence within these regions comprises over 50% of the complete BKV(MM) genome and shows a 70% sequence homology with the corresponding regions of simian virus 40 DNA. This high degree of homology is at variance with the reported homology values of 11--20% estimated by hybridization measurements of heteroduplex analyses. Possible explanations for the discrepancy are discussed.

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