The virion RNA of mouse hepatitis virus, strain A59 (MHV-A59) is believed to be the mRNA for the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The cell-free translation of virion RNA results in the synthesis of two predominant products p220 and p28 (M. R. Denison and S. Perlman, 1986, J. Virol. 60, 12-18). p28 is a basic protein and is readily detected by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. When infected cells and isolated virions were assayed for this protein by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, p28 could be detected in infected cells labeled at late times after infection, but not at early times or in purified virions. p28 represents the first protein product of the putative coronavirus polymerase gene to be identified in infected cells.