Sequencing of restriction fragment EcoRI A-SalI C of African swine fever virus has revealed the existence of a multigene family, designated family 505 because of the average number of amino acids in the proteins, composed of seven homologous and tandemly arranged genes. All the genes of family 505 are expressed during infection. Primer extension analysis showed that transcription is initiated a short distance (3 to 62 nucleotides) from the start codon of the corresponding open reading frame. The proteins of family 505 showed similarity to those of family 360 from African swine fever virus. In particular, a striking conservation of three regions at the amino terminus of the polypeptides was observed
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