[en] Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) open reading frame 63 (ORF63) is one of the most abundant transcripts expressed during VZV latency in humans, and ORF63 protein has been detected in human ganglia by several laboratories. Deletion of over 90% of the ORF63 gene showed that the protein is required for efficient establishment of latency in rodents. We have constructed viruses with a series of mutations in ORF63. While prior experiments showed that transfection of cells with a plasmid expressing ORF63 but lacking the putative nuclear localization signal of the protein resulted in increased expression of the protein in the cytoplasm, we found that ORF63 protein remained in the nucleus in cells infected with a VZV ORF63 nuclear localization signal deletion mutant. This mutant was not impaired for growth in cell culture or for latency in rodents. Replacement of five serine or threonine phosphorylation sites in ORF63 with alanines resulted in a virus that was impaired for replication in vitro and for latency. A series of ORF63 carboxy-terminal mutants showed that the last 70 amino acids do not affect replication in vitro or latency in rodents; however, the last 108 amino acids are important for replication and latency. Thus, regions of ORF63 that are important for replication in vitro are also required for efficient establishment of latency.