The nucleotide sequence of the 5′-terminal 2469 bases of dengue 2 (Jamaica genotype) virus has been determined and the encoded proteins compared with those of yellow fever and West Nile viruses, which belong to different flavivirus serogroups. The cDNA clone which was sequenced contains a 5′-noncoding region of 96 nucleotides followed by a single open reading frame coding for the structural proteins 5′-C-prM(M)-E-3′ and the beginning of the NS1 nonstructural protein. The amino acid sequence homology between the structural polyprotein precursor of dengue 2 virus and those of yellow fever and West Nile viruses is 36.5 and 42%, respectively. The dengue virus structural proteins are similar in size and composition to those of the other flaviviruses. The basic capsid protein and the membrane and envelope proteins have hydrophobic regions at their C termini. The dengue 2 capsid C, membrane M, and envelope E proteins share 13, 36, and 43% homology, respectively, with the cognate proteins of yellow fever virus, and 33, 32, and 47% homology with the cognate proteins of West Nile virus. All 6 cysteine residues in the dengue 2 premembrane protein and all 12 cysteine residues in the dengue 2 envelope protein are conserved in the cognate proteins of yellow fever and West Nile viruses.
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