We have determined the nucleotide sequence of two genes in the unique short region of the genome of pseudorabies virus (PRV). Near the internal repeat, upstream of the gene encoding glycoprotein gX, we identified an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 390 amino acids. We designated this gene PK because the predicted protein contains most of the conserved motifs of a eukaryotic protein kinase. The protein shares amino acid homology with the protein kinases encoded by gene US3 of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and gene 66 of varicella-zoster virus. Near the terminal repeat, downstream of a gene encoding an 11K protein, we identified an ORF encoding a protein of 256 amino acids. We designated this gene 28K, the Mr of the predicted protein. Part of the amino acid sequence of 28K is homologous to the predicted US2 protein of HSV-1. Northern blot analysis revealed a 2.7 kb mRNA encoding the putative protein kinase and a 1.2 kb mRNA encoding the 28K protein in PRV-infected cells. The 5' ends of the mRNAs were mapped by primer extension. Two transcriptional start sites were identified for the PK mRNA: a minor start site immediately upstream of the ORF and a major start site (greater than 95% of the mRNA) within the ORF, 64 nucleotides upstream of an internal ATG codon. A single transcriptional start site was identified for the 28K mRNA immediately upstream of the ORF. Immunoblot analysis with anti-peptide sera revealed that, in cells infected with PRV, the PK gene was translated into two proteins with Mrs of 53K and 41K, and the 28K gene into a single protein with an Mr of 28K.