A recombinant S segment RNA (Sr) of the prototypic arenavirus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) where the glycoprotein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVG) was substituted for the glycoprotein of LCMV (LCMV-GP) was produced intracellularly from cDNA under the control of a polymerase I promoter. Coexpression of the LCMV proteins NP and L allowed expression of VSVG from Sr. Infection of transfected cells with WT LCMV (LCMVwt) resulted in reassortment of the L segment of LCMVwt with the Sr at low frequency. Isolation of recombinant LCMV (rLCMV) expressing VSVG (rLCMV/VSVG) was achieved by selection against LCMVwt by using a cell line deficient in the cellular protease S1P. This approach was based on the finding that processing of LCMV-GP by S1P was required for virus infectivity. Characterization of protein and RNA expression of rLCMV/VSVG in infected cells confirmed the expected virus genome organization. rLCMV/VSVG caused syncytium formation in cultured cells and grew to approximately 100-fold lower titers than WT virus but, like the parent virus, it persisted in neonatally infected mice without clinical signs of disease.