The genes encoding the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) attachment (G) and fusion (F) envelope glycoproteins were expressed separately as additional genes in recombinant vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV). Cells infected with the VSV-RSV F recombinant formed large syncytia illustrating the fusion activity of F in absence of other RSV proteins. Both F and G glycoproteins were expressed at the cell surface and incorporated into virions. Incorporation of these proteins did not require cytoplasmic tail sequences of VSV G. Using a compound, ammonium chloride, that raises the endosomal pH, we showed that presence of the RSV F glycoprotein in the envelope of recombinant VSV allowed for infectivity through a low-pH-independent pathway. Recombinant VSV expressing RSV glycoproteins could be useful as an RSV vaccine.
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