Abstract

Simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome (SAIDS) in the macaque genus of monkeys at the California Primate Research Center is apparently caused by infection by a type D retrovirus. The complete nucleotide sequence (8173 base pairs) of a molecular clone of the prototype SAIDS virus isolate, SRV-1, reveals a typical retrovirus structure with long terminal repeats (346 base pairs) and open reading frames for the gag (663 codons), pol (867 codons), and env (605 codons) genes. SRV-1 also has a separate open reading frame of 314 codons between the gag and pol genes that defines the viral protease gene (prt) and a short open reading frame of unknown significance downstream from the env gene. The SRV-1 protease region shows a high degree of homology to its counterpart in the hamster intracisternal A-type particle genome; both these protease genes are about twice as long as the analogous region of other retroviruses. SRV-1 has no notable similarity in either genetic organization or sequence to the human AIDS retroviruses.

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