The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) US3 kinase is likely important for primary envelopment of progeny nucleocapsids since it localizes to the nuclear envelope of infected cells and largely determines the phosphorylation state and localization of the necessary primary envelopment factor, the UL34 protein. In HEp-2 cells, the production of infectious US3 null progeny is delayed and decreased relative to that of the parental strain, HSV-I(F). Furthermore, the US3 kinase affects the morphology of primary envelopment such that in its absence, UL34 protein-containing enveloped virions accumulate within membrane-bound vesicles. These vesicles are most often found along the interior periphery of the nucleus and may be derived from the inner nuclear membrane. Since the US3 and UL34 proteins comprise a kinase-substrate pair, a reasonable hypothesis is that the US3 kinase influences these replication parameters by direct phosphorylation of the UL34 protein. For this report, recombinant viruses were constructed to determine the significance of UL34 protein phosphorylation and US3 catalytic activity on UL34 protein localization, single-step growth, and envelopment morphology in both HEp-2 and Vero cells. The data presented suggest that the significance of UL34 phosphorylation is cell type dependent and that efficient viral morphogenesis requires US3-mediated phosphorylation of an infected cell protein other than UL34.