[en] Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) gene 63 encodes a protein with a predicted molecular mass of 30.5 kDa which has amino acid similarities with the immediate-early (IE) protein 22 (ICP-22) of herpes simplex virus type 1. In order to study the expression of this protein during lytic and latent infection, gene 63 was cloned in frame and downstream from the glutathione-S-transferase gene, expressed as a fusion protein, and purified. In VZV-infected Vero cells, antibodies directed against this protein detect two polypeptides of 45 and 38 kDa which are localized both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus. Using a sequential combination of transcription and protein synthesis inhibitors (actinomycin D and cycloheximide, respectively), we demonstrated the immediate-early nature of this protein, which can thus be named IE63. Using a rat model of VZV latency, we showed that IE63 is heavily expressed, essentially in neurons, during latency. IE63 can also be detected in the skin of patients showing early herpes zoster symptoms.