In 1994, a new member of the family Paramyxoviridae isolated from fatal cases of respiratory disease in horses and humans was shown to be distantly related to morbilliviruses and provisionally called equine morbillivirus (K. Murray et al., Science 268:94-97, 1995). To facilitate characterization and classification, the virus was purified, viral proteins were identified, and the P/V/C gene was cloned and sequenced. The coding strategy of the gene is similar to that of Sendai and measles viruses, members of the Paramyxovirus and Morbillivirus genera, respectively, in the subfamily Paramyxovirinae. The P/V/C gene contains four open reading frames, three of which, P, C, and V, have Paramyxovirinae counterparts. The P and C proteins are larger and smaller, respectively, than are cognate proteins in members of the subfamily, and the V protein is made as a result of a single G insertion during transcription. The P/V/C gene has two unique features. (i) A fourth open reading frame is located between those of the C and V proteins and potentially encodes a small basic protein similar to those found in some members of the Rhabdoviridae and Filoviridae families. (ii) There is also a long untranslated 3' sequence, a feature common in Filoviridae members. Sequence comparisons confirm that although the virus is a member of the Paramyxovirinae subfamily, it displays only low levels of homology with paramyxoviruses and morbilliviruses and negligible homologies with rubulaviruses.