The nucleotide sequence of the long terminal repeat (LTR) of caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV), a prototype lentivirus was determined. 6-bp directly repeated host cell sequences flank the 376-bp proviral LTRs. By comparison with other retroviral sequences, the CAEV LTR likely contains U3, R and U5 regions 207, 86 and 83 base-pairs in length, respectively. Sequences conforming to consensus transcriptional promoter sites were identified in the U3 region upstream of a potential transcription initiation site. A consensus polyadenylation signal is present 20 bases upstream of the putative R-U5 border and a potential poly(A) addition site. Sequence comparisons of the CAEV LTR with those of other retroviruses uncovered significant similarities with that of visna virus. No other global homologies with other retrovirus LTRs could be detected. CAEV utilizes a primer binding site complementary to lysine tRNA as does visna, AIDS associated retroviruses, and mouse mammary tumor virus. The putative primer for positive-strand DNA synthesis identified in the CAEV sequence is identical to that of visna virus and very similar to those of AIDS retroviruses and MMTV. In addition, a stretch that includes the TATA box of the CAEV LTR resembles closely the corresponding region in the AIDS retrovirus. These and other findings further strengthen the classification of AIDS retrovirus as a lentivirus.
- AIDS retrovirus
- tRNA primer
- transcriptional control elements