Primary structural comparison of RNA-dependent polymerases from plant, animal and bacterial viruses

Nucleic Acids Res. 1984 Sep 25;12(18):7269-82. doi: 10.1093/nar/12.18.7269.


Possible alignments for portions of the genomic codons in eight different plant and animal viruses are presented: tobacco mosaic, brome mosaic, alfalfa mosaic, sindbis, foot-and-mouth disease, polio, encephalomyocarditis, and cowpea mosaic viruses. Since in one of the viruses (polio) the aligned sequence has been identified as an RNA-dependent polymerase, this would imply the identification of the polymerases in the other viruses. A conserved fourteen-residue segment consisting of an Asp-Asp sequence flanked by hydrophobic residues has also been found in retroviral reverse transcriptases, a bacteriophage, influenza virus, cauliflower mosaic virus and hepatitis B virus, suggesting this span as a possible active site or nucleic acid recognition region for the polymerases. Evolutionary implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphthovirus / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Encephalomyocarditis virus / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Mosaic Viruses / enzymology
  • Mosaic Viruses / genetics*
  • Poliovirus / genetics*
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • Sindbis Virus / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Viruses / enzymology


  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase