Phosphorylation of the expressed NS5A protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV), a member of the Hepacivirus genus of the family Flaviviridae, has been demonstrated in mammalian cells and in a cell-free assay by an associated kinase activity. In this report, phosphorylation is also shown for the NS5A and NS5 proteins, respectively, of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and yellow fever virus (YF), members of the other two established genera in this family. Phosphorylation of BVDV NS5A and YF NS5 was observed in infected cells, transient expression experiments, and a cell-free assay similar to the one developed for HCV NS5A. Phosphoamino acid analyses indicated that all three proteins were phosphorylated by serine/threonine kinases. Similarities in the properties of BVDV NS5A, YF NS5, and HCV NS5A phosphorylation in vitro further suggested that closely related kinases or the same kinase may phosphorylate these viral proteins. Conservation of this trait among three quite distantly related viruses representing three separate genera suggests that phosphorylation of the NS5A/NS5 proteins or their association with cellular kinases may play an important role in the flavivirus life cycle.