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item Tulman, Edan
item Afonso, Claudio
item Lu, Zhiqiang
item Zsak, Laszlo
item Kutish, Gerald
item Rock, Daniel

Submitted to: Journal of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2003
Publication Date: 1/20/2004
Citation: Tulman, E., Afonso, C.L., Lu, Z., Zsak, L., Kutish, G.F., Rock, D.L. 2004. The genome of canarypox virus. Journal of Virology. 78(1):353-366.

Interpretive Summary: The genome sequence of canarypox virus (CNPV), a pathogen of songbirds and important host-restricted human and veterinary vaccine vector, is described. The CNPV genome, at 365 kbp, is the largest characterized from a poxvirus. Comparison of CNPV to the genomic sequence of fowlpox virus (FWPV) provides detailed insight into avipoxvirus genomics. CNPV contains overall similarity to FWPV in gene content and arrangement, including regions containing genes conserved in other poxviruses. CNPV and FWPV shared homologues of unique genes likely important for infection of bird hosts. CNPV differs significantly from FWPV in other genomic regions; containing over 75 kbp of novel sequence which includes many gene families and homologues of cellular genes likely affecting viral virulence and host range. Many of these variable or novel genes encode proteins potentially significant for viral manipulation of host immune or anti-viral responses. These CNPV genomic data will aid in design of more effective and versatile CNPV-based vaccine vectors.

Technical Abstract: Here we present the genomic sequence, with analysis, of a canarypox virus (CNPV). The 365 kbp CNPV genome contains 328 potential genes in a central region and in 6.5 kbp inverted terminal repeats. Comparison with the previously characterized fowlpox virus (FWPV) genome revealed avipoxvirusspecific genomic features, including large genomic rearrangements relative to other chordopoxviruses and novel cellular homologues and gene families. CNPV also contains many genomic differences with FWPV, including over 75 kbp of additional sequence, 37 genes lacking FWPV homologues, and an average of 47% amino acid divergence between homologues. Differences occur primarily in terminal and, notably, localized internal genomic regions and suggest significant genomic diversity among avipoxviruses. Divergent regions contain gene families, which overall comprise over 49% of the CNPV genome and include genes encoding 51 proteins containing ankyrin repeats, 26 NlR/p28-like proteins, and potential immunomodulatory proteins, including homologues of TGF-b and b-NGF. CNPV genes lacking homologues in FWPV encode homologues of ubiquitin, IL-10-like proteins, TNFR, PIRI RNA phosphatase, thioredoxin binding protein, MyD116-domain proteins, circovirus Rep proteins, and nucleotide metabolism proteins thymidylate kinase and ribonucleotide reductase small subunit. These data reveal genomic differences likely affecting differences in avipoxvirus virulence and host range, and they will likely be useful for design of improved vaccine vectors.