Sequence divergence of measles virus haemagglutinin during natural evolution and adaptation to cell culture.
The full-length cDNA corresponding to the mRNA for the hemagglutinin (H) protein of the Yamagata-1 strain of the subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) virus was cloned and the nucleotide sequence was determined. The mRNA corresponding to the H protein was composed of 1952 nucleotides and contained a single large open reading frame, which encoded 620 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 69,723. This cDNA clone expressed the H protein in Cos 7 cells, and the transfected cells showed hemadsorption. The nucleotide and amino-acid sequence homology with the Edmonston strain of MV were 98.0% and 96.6%, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence had a single hydrophobic domain near the N-terminus that was long enough to serve as an anchor in the membrane. Five potential glycosylation sites were found on the H protein at identical positions as in the H protein of MV. Cysteine and proline were located at almost identical positions as those of the H protein of MV. In addition, monoclonal antibody study revealed that three epitopes, including the domains that were involved in the biological activities of the H protein of MV, were conserved on the Yamagata-1 strain. These results suggested that the H protein of the Yamagata-1 strain of defective SSPE virus is structurally and functionally similar to that of the Edmonston strain of MV.