Lentiviruses are a subfamily of retroviruses which have been aetiologically linked to the induction of arthritis, encephalitis, progressive pneumonia and slow neurological diseases in certain species1. Relatively little is known about their genome structure, mechanisms of pathogenesis or evolutionary relationships with other retroviral subfamilies. In an effort to understand better the mechanisms by which these viruses induce such a variety of chronic diseases, we have molecularly cloned and physically characterized the genomes of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV)2 and equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV) (A.Y. et al., in preparation). The latter, which bears some morphological similarity to the lentiviruses, has yet to be classified definitively as one3. Here, we have determined the nucleotide sequence of a highly conserved region within the CAEV and EIAV pol genes. We demonstrate a much closer relationship of their predicted pol gene products to that of the presumed aetiological agent of human acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) than to those of other retroviruses. Additional pairwise comparisons allowed us to generate an evolutionary tree showing that the pol genes of lentiviruses and oncoviruses have evolved from a common progenitor.
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - 1985|