J Vet Sci.  2017 Aug;18(S1):351-359. 10.4142/jvs.2017.18.S1.351.

Chimeric rabies glycoprotein with a transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail from Newcastle disease virus fusion protein incorporates into the Newcastle disease virion at reduced levels

  • 1Key Laboratory of Veterinary Public Health of Ministry of Agriculture, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, China. gjy2003@163.com


Rabies remains an important worldwide health problem. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was developed as a vaccine vector in animals by using a reverse genetics approach. Previously, our group generated a recombinant NDV (LaSota strain) expressing the complete rabies virus G protein (RVG), named rL-RVG. In this study, we constructed the variant rL-RVGTM, which expresses a chimeric rabies virus G protein (RVGTM) containing the ectodomain of RVG and the transmembrane domain (TM) and a cytoplasmic tail (CT) from the NDV fusion glycoprotein to study the function of RVG's TM and CT. The RVGTM did not detectably incorporate into NDV virions, though it was abundantly expressed at the surface of infected BHK-21 cells. Both rL-RVG and rL-RVGTM induced similar levels of NDV virus-neutralizing antibody (VNA) after initial and secondary vaccination in mice, whereas rabies VNA induction by rL-RVGTM was markedly lower than that induced by rL-RVG. Though rL-RVG could spread from cell to cell like that in rabies virus, rL-RVGTM lost this ability and spread in a manner similar to the parental NDV. Our data suggest that the TM and CT of RVG are essential for its incorporation into NDV virions and for spreading of the recombinant virus from the initially infected cells to surrounding cells.


Newcastle disease virus; antibody response; chimeric rabies glycoprotein; rabies virus; viral vector
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