Optimized P2A for reporter gene insertion into nipah virus results in efficient ribosomal skipping and wild-type lethality

Arnold Park, Tatyana Yun, Terence E. Hill, Tetsuro Ikegami, Terry L. Juelich, Jennifer K. Smith, Lihong Zhang, Alexander Freiberg, Benhur Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Incorporation of reporter genes within virus genomes is an indispensable tool for interrogation of virus biology and pathogenesis. In previous work, we incorporated a fluorophore into a viral ORF by attaching it to the viral gene via a P2A ribosomal skipping sequence. This recombinant Nipah virus, however, was attenuated in vitro relative to WT virus. In this work, we determined that inefficient ribosomal skipping was a major contributing factor to this attenuation. Inserting a GSG linker before the P2A sequence resulted in essentially complete skipping, significantly improved growth in vitro, and WT lethality in vivo. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first time a recombinant virus of Mononegavirales with integration of a reporter into a viral ORF has been compared with the WT virus in vivo. Incorporating the GSG linker for improved skipping efficiency whenever functionally important is a critical consideration for recombinant virus design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-843
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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