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Keil, Günther M.; Ebeling-Keil, Angelika; Koszinowski, Ulrich H. (1987): Sequence and structural organization of murine cytomegalovirus immediate-early gene 1. In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 61: pp. 1901-1908




In murine cytomegalovirus, abundant immediate-early transcription originates from 0.769 to 0.815 map units of the genome. This region contains the immediate-early gene (gene ieI) which encodes pp89, a phosphoprotein active in transcriptional regulation. In this paper we report on the precise location, structural organization, and sequence of gene ieI. The predominant ieI transcript, a 2.75-kilobase mRNA, is generated by splicing and composed of four exons. The precise termini of the 2.75-kilobase mRNA and the positions of the exons were determined by nuclease digestion experiments with either 5' or 3' end-labeled DNA fragments or in vitro transcribed cRNA probes. Exons of 300, 111, 191, and 1,703 nucleotides are separated by introns of 825, 95, and 122 nucleotides. The first AUG is located in the second exon of 111 nucleotides, and a single open reading frame of 1,785 nucleotides predicts a protein of 595 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 66,713. The N-terminal region of the protein contains sequences similar to a consensus sequence of histone 2B proteins. The regulatory function of pp89 and the role of this protein as an immunodominant antigen are discussed in relation to the amino acid sequence.