DOI: 10.1128/mbio.02373-23 ISSN: 2150-7511

A single-point mutation in the rubella virus E1 glycoprotein promotes rescue of recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus

Pratyush Kumar Das, Paulina Alatriste Gonzalez, Rohit K. Jangra, Peiqi Yin, Margaret Kielian
  • Virology
  • Microbiology

Rubella virus (RuV) infection in pregnant women can cause miscarriage or severe fetal birth defects. While a highly effective vaccine has been developed, RuV cases are still a significant problem in areas with inadequate vaccine coverage. In addition, related viruses have recently been discovered in mammals, such as bats and mice, leading to concerns about potential virus spillover to humans. To facilitate studies of RuV biology, here, we generated and characterized a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus encoding the RuV glycoproteins (rVSV-RuV). Sequence analysis of rVSV-RuV identified a single-point mutation in the transmembrane region of the E1 glycoprotein. While the overall properties of rVSV-RuV are similar to those of WT-RuV, the mutation caused a marked shift in the pH dependence of virus membrane fusion. Together, our studies of rVSV-RuV and the identified W448R mutation expand our understanding of rubivirus biology and provide new tools for its study.

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