1Comparative Genomics Group, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA2Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA3Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Computer Science Research Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA4UT-ORNL Graduate School of Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA5Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, The Technical University of Denmark, Building 208, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark6Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, B 1650 HMP, Buenos Aires, Argentina7Booze Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA 22101, USA8Assays, Cultures and Enzymes Division, Chr. Hansen A/S, Hørsholm, Denmark9Molecular Microbiology and Genomics Consultants, Tannenstr 7, D-55576 Zotzenheim, Germany
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The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest documented for this virus. To examine the dynamics of this genome, we compare more than 100 currently available ebolavirus genomes to each other and to other viral genomes. Based on oligomer frequency analysis, the family Filoviridae forms a distinct group from all other sequenced viral genomes. All filovirus genomes sequenced to date encode proteins with similar functions and gene order, although there is considerable divergence in sequences between the three genera Ebolavirus, Cuevavirus and Marburgvirus within the family Filoviridae. Whereas all ebolavirus genomes are quite similar (multiple sequences of the same strain are often identical), variation is most common in the intergenic regions and within specific areas of the genes encoding the glycoprotein (GP), nucleoprotein (NP) and polymerase (L). We predict regions that could contain epitope-binding sites, which might be good vaccine targets. This information, combined with glycosylation sites and experimentally determined epitopes, can identify the most promising regions for the development of therapeutic strategies.This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).