Characterization of the complete genome of the Tupaia (tree shrew) adenovirus

J Virol. 2003 Apr;77(7):4345-56. doi: 10.1128/jvi.77.7.4345-4356.2003.


The members of the family Adenoviridae are widely spread among vertebrate host species and normally cause acute but innocuous infections. Special attention is focused on adenoviruses because of their ability to transform host cells, their possible application in vector technology, and their phylogeny. The primary structure of the genome of Tupaia adenovirus (TAV), which infects Tupaia spp. (tree shrew) was determined. Tree shrews are taxonomically assumed to be at the base of the phylogenetic tree of mammals and are frequently used as laboratory animals in neurological and behavior research. The TAV genome is 33,501 bp in length with a G+C content of 49.96% and has 166-bp inverted terminal repeats. Analysis of the complete nucleotide sequence resulted in the identification of 109 open reading frames (ORFs) with a coding capacity of at least 40 amino acid residues. Thirty-eight of them are predicted to encode viral proteins based on the presence of transcription and translation signals and sequence and positional conservation. Thirty viral ORFs were found to show significant similarities to known adenoviral genes, arranged into discrete early and late genome regions as they are known from mastadenoviruses. Analysis of the nucleotide content of the TAV genome revealed a significant CG dinucleotide depletion at the genome ends that suggests methylation of these genomic regions during the viral life cycle. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral gene products, including penton and hexon proteins, viral protease, terminal protein, protein VIII, DNA polymerase, protein IVa2, and 100,000-molecular-weight protein, revealed that the evolutionary lineage of TAV forms a separate branch within the phylogenetic tree of the Mastadenovirus genus.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / classification
  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny
  • Tupaia / virology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins