The noncoding sequence of five Edmonston vaccine viruses (AIK-C, Moraten, Rubeovax, Schwarz, and Zagreb) and those of a low-passage Edmonston wild-type (wt) measles virus have been determined and compared. Twenty-one nucleotide positions were identified at which Edmonston wt and one or more vaccine strains differed. The location of some of these nucleotide substitutions suggests that they may influence the efficiency of mRNA synthesis, processing, and translation, as well as genome replication and encapsidation. Five nucleotide substitutions were conserved in all of the vaccine strains. Two of these were in the genomic 3-terminal transcriptional control region and could affect RNA synthesis or encapsidation. Three were found within the 5-untranslated region of the F mRNA, potentially altering translation control sequences. The remaining vaccine virus base changes were found in one to four vaccine strains. Their genomic localization suggests that some may modify cis-acting regulatory domains, including the Kozak consensus element of the P and M genes, the F gene-end signal, and the F mRNA 5-untranslated sequence.
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