A combination of naturally occurring mutations in North American West Nile virus nonstructural protein genes and in the 3′ untranslated region alters virus phenotype

C. Todd Davis, Sareen E. Galbraith, Shuliu Zhang, Melissa C. Whiteman, Li Li, Richard M. Kinney, Alan D.T. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


We previously reported mutations in North American West Nile viruses (WNVs) with a small-plaque (sp), temperature-sensitive (ts), and/or mouse-attenuated (att) phenotype. Using an infectious clone, site-directed mutations and 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) exchanges were introduced into the WNV NY99 genome. Characterization of mutants demonstrated that a combination of mutations involving the NS4B protein (E249G) together with either a mutation in the NS5 protein (A804V) or three mutations in the 3′UTR (A10596G, C10774U, A10799G) produced sp, ts, and/or att variants. These results suggested that the discovery of North American WNV-phenotypic variants is rare because of the apparent requirement of concurrent polygenic mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6111-6116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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