To analyze the gE gene sequence of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) strains of different clades and subclades currently circulating in China. Eighteen skin lesion fluid swabs or skin scab pieces from patients with chickenpox or shingles were obtained from Beijing, Changchun, Lhasa and Urumqi between December 2010 and June 2011. The genotype of the virus strains was determined by a group of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in 15 ORFs, and the full-length gE genes of 18 strains representing all the clades in the study was amplified by PCR and sequenced. In addition to the synonymous mutations and non-synonymous mutations that were reported in the literature, there were 3 novel non-synonymous mutations (C56T, C1109T, C917A) and 4 new synonymous mutations (C54T, T1075C, T816C, G279A) found in the 8 strains analyzed. We found the VZV strains of clade 5 in Xinjiang for the first time,and the genotypes of some VZV strains circulating in Chagnchun could not be determined by the present methods. The analysis of gE gene sequences,revealed a novel non-synonymous mutations in the e1 and c1 epitopes, corresponding to the amino acid change of serine to tyrosine.