The complete nucleotide sequence of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) genome RNA was determined. The JEV genome contains 10,976 nucleotides and encodes a single long open reading frame (ORF) of 10,296 nucleotides corresponding to 3432 amino acid residues. This long polypeptide is thought to be cleaved into three structural proteins and several nonstructural proteins of the virus. The genetic location of the three structural proteins was determined by comparing the deduced amino acid sequence from the nucleotide sequence with the N-terminal amino acid sequences that were determined from the three purified structural proteins. The C-terminal region of the ORF may encode an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase which has significant sequence homology with those of other RNA viruses.
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