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Published August 1, 1984 | Published
Journal Article Open

An evolutionary tree relating eight alphaviruses, based on amino-terminal sequences of their glycoproteins


The NH2-terminal amino acid sequences of both structural glycoproteins of each of eight alphaviruses have been obtained. These sequences demonstrate that the alphaviruses are all closely related and have in all probability descended from a common ancestor. Cysteines are conserved as well as several other residues important for secondary structure, suggesting that the three-dimensional conformations of the alphavirus glycoproteins are conserved while considerable variation in the primary sequence has evolved. Secondary structure predictions based upon the amino acid sequences are consistent with this hypothesis. An evolutionary tree for these eight alphaviruses has been constructed from the amino acid sequence data and, at many positions in the sequence, the amino acids present in the ancestral glycoproteins have been deduced.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1984 by the National Academy of Sciences. Communicated by James Bonner, April 17, 1984. We are grateful to E. M. Lenches for technical assistance, to T. Hunkapiller for the computer programs used in construction of the figures, and to L. Hood for use of sequencing and computer facilities. This work was supported in part by Grants GM06965 and A110793 from the National Institutes of Health and Grant PCM8316856 from the National Science Foundation. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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