The complete nucleotide sequence of the phosphoprotein (P) gene of the Yamagata-1 strain of a defective subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) virus was determined. Comparison with the P gene of the Edmonston strain of measles virus (MV) revealed 44 differences of which 23 nucleotides substitutions were identical with those revealed between other SSPE viruses and MV (Cattaneo et al. (1989) Virology 173, 415-425). The consensus sequence of the G insertion site was completely conserved, whereas mRNAs with one or three non-templated G residue insertions were found in addition to the mRNA of the exact genome copy. As a result of the frameshift downstream of the site of G insertion, the cysteine-rich V protein was predicted from the one G-inserted mRNA besides the P and C proteins predicted from the genome-copied mRNA.