Complete nucleotide sequence of an infectious clone of human T-cell leukemia virus type II: an open reading frame for the protease gene.
The entire nucleotide sequence of an infectious clone of human T-cell leukemia virus type II provirus was determined. This provirus consists of 8952 nucleotides. In addition to long terminal repeats and gag, pol, env, and X, a protease gene that is responsible for processing the gag precursor protein was found. The protease gene is encoded in a different frame from gag and pol and was located between the gag and pol open reading frames. The 5' region of the protease gene overlaps the 3' gag region. Coding regions of the provirus show about 60% homology with those of human T-cell leukemia virus type I at the nucleotide level. The evolutionary relationship between human T-cell leukemia virus types I and II is discussed.