The sequence of the 3' terminus of the human T lymphotropic virus type II (HTLV-II) was determined and compared to the corresponding sequence of HTLV-I. The 1557-nucleotide-long sequence can be divided into a 5' region that is not conserved between the two viruses, and a 3', 1011-nucleotide-long region that is highly conserved and that corresponds precisely with a long open reading frame for both HTLV-I and -II. The proteins that could be encoded by these open reading frames have a molecular weight of about 38,000 and are closely related in primary amino acid sequence. The genomic structure in the 3' region of HTLV was found to be similar to that of bovine leukemia virus.

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