Fourteen reptilian paramyxovirus isolates were chosen to represent the known extent of genetic diversity among this novel group of viruses. Selected regions of the fusion (F) gene were sequenced, analyzed and compared. The F gene of all isolates contained conserved motifs homologous to those described for other members of the family Paramyxoviridae including: signal peptide, transmembrane domain, furin cleavage site, fusion peptide, N-linked glycosylation sites, and two heptad repeats, the second of which (HRB-LZ) had the characteristics of a leucine zipper. Selected regions of the fusion gene of isolate Gono-GER85 were inserted into a prokaryotic expression system to generate three recombinant protein fragments of various sizes. The longest recombinant protein was cleaved by furin into two fragments of predicted length. Western blot analysis with virus-neutralizing rabbit-antiserum against this isolate demonstrated that only the longest construct reacted with the antiserum. This construct was unique in containing 30 additional C-terminal amino acids that included most of the HRB-LZ. These results indicate that the F genes of reptilian paramyxoviruses contain highly conserved motifs typical of other members of the family and suggest that the HRB-LZ domain of the reptilian paramyxovirus F protein contains a linear antigenic epitope. ?? Springer-Verlag 2005.
Additional publication details
Sequence motifs and prokaryotic expression of the reptilian paramyxovirus fusion protein