2017 Volume 38 Issue 2 Pages 89-97
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) is a novel phlebovirus responsible for causing an emerging zoonotic disease. We previously established subclones from SFTSV strain YG1 based on differences in low-pH-dependent cell fusion activities and found two amino acid substitutions, Y328H and R624W, in the envelope glycoprotein (GP) of high fusion subclones. In this study, we show that transiently expressed GP with the R624W mutation, but not the Y328H mutation, induced cell fusion under acidic conditions. GP possessing either tryptophan, serine, glycine or aspartic acid at position 624 induced cell fusion, whereas GP possessing basic amino acids such as arginine or lysine did not induce cell fusion. These results indicated that the amino acid at position 624 has an important role for inducing low-pH-dependent cell fusion.