An accessory open reading frame (orf-x) of jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus is conserved between different virus isolates

S. Rosati, M. Pittau, A. Alberti, S. Pozzi, D. F. York, J. M. Sharp, M. Palmarini

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Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) is the etiological agent of a contagious lung tumour of sheep known as sheep pulmonary adenomatosis (syn: ovine pulmonary carcinoma, jaagsiekte). JSRV exhibits a simple genetic organization, characteristic of the type D and type B retroviruses, with the canonical retroviral sequences gag, pro, pol and env encoding the structural proteins of the virion. An additional open reading frame (orf-x), of approximately 500 bp overlapping pol, is present in the only two complete sequences of JSRV published to date. Since very little information is available on the biology of JSRV it is important to establish if orf-x is conserved between different virus isolates. In this study we analysed the orf-x region of JSRV isolates collected from the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and South Africa. In addition we also analysed the presence of orf-x in JSRV- related endogenous sequences (enJSRVs) present in the sheep genome. Orf-x was highly conserved in all the exogenous isolates (n = 10) and in most of the endogenous sequences (n = 8). Thus orf-x may be an accessory gene of JSRV and haves a biological function which might be advantageous to JSRV. Phenetic analysis conducted on the complete orf-x nucleotide sequences seems to highlight the presence of three distinct groups statistically well supported by bootstrapping: i) exogenous JSRV sequence from the UK; ii) exogenous JSRV sequences from Southern Europe and iii) the exogenous South African strain plus all the endogenous sequences analyzed and collected from Australia, Italy, UK and South Africa. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000


  • Accessory open reading frame
  • Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus
  • Orf-x

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Virology


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