A single amino acid change resulting in loss of fluorescence of eGFP in a viral fusion protein confers fitness and growth advantage to the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus

Phat X. Dinh, Debasis Panda, Phani B. Das, Subash C. Das, Anshuman Das, Asit K Pattnaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Using a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus encoding eGFP fused in-frame with an essential viral replication protein, the phosphoprotein P, we show that during passage in culture, the virus mutates the nucleotide C289 within eGFP of the fusion protein PeGFP to A or T, resulting in R97S/C amino acid substitution and loss of fluorescence. The resultant non-fluorescent virus exhibits increased fitness and growth advantage over its fluorescent counterpart. The growth advantage of the non-fluorescent virus appears to be due to increased transcription and replication activities of the PeGFP protein carrying the R97S/C substitution. Further, our results show that the R97S/C mutation occurs prior to accumulation of mutations that can result in loss of expression of the gene inserted at the G-L gene junction. These results suggest that fitness gain is more important for the recombinant virus than elimination of expression of the heterologous gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-469
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 25 2012



  • Dual-fluorescent virus
  • Growth advantage
  • PeGFP fusion protein
  • Replication
  • Transcription
  • VSV
  • Viral fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

Cite this