Comparative sequence and structural analysis of Indian orf viruses based on major envelope immuno-dominant protein (F1L), an homologue of pox viral p35/H3 protein.Gene 2018; 663:72-82GENE
Orf virus (ORFV), a member of the genus Parapoxvirus in the family Poxviridae, is the cause of orf, a highly contagious zoonotic viral disease that affects mainly sheep and goats. In the present study, the sequence and phylogenetic analysis of Indian ORFV isolates (n = 15) from natural outbreaks in sheep and goats belonging to different geographical regions were analysed on the basis of F1L gene along with homology modelling of F1L protein. Multiple sequence alignments revealed highly conserved C-terminus and heterogeneity of N-terminus region of F1L among all orf viruses studied. Further, a comparative sequence alignment indicated conservation of various motifs such as glycosaminoglycan (GAG), Asp/Glu-any residue-Asp (D/ExD) and a Cx3C chemokine like motif among all poxviruses and unique motifs (proline rich region [PRR] and Lys-Gly-Asp [KGD]), in parapoxviruses including ORFV isolates irrespective of geography and host species. Phylogenetically, two major clusters were noticed which included Indian orf isolates along with foreign isolates. Structurally, ORFV F1L resembled the topology as exhibited by its homologue vaccinia virus H3 protein with mixed β/α folds and ligand binding specificity in docking models. We noted that despite differences in host cell specificity and pathogencity, poxvirus proteins especially ORFV F1L protein and its homologues presumed to share similarities as they are highly conserved irrespective of species and countries of origin. Further, the study also indicated the possibilities of differentiation of ORFV strains based on N-terminal heterogeneity despite highly conserved C-terminal region with conserved motifs.