Human cytomegalovirus UL99-encoded tegument protein pp28 contains a 16 aa acidic cluster that is required for pp28 trafficking to the assembly compartment (AC) and the virus assembly. However, functional signals within the acidic cluster of pp28 remain undefined. Here, we demonstrated that an acidic cluster rather than specific sorting signals was required for trafficking to the AC. Recombinant viruses with chimeric pp28 proteins expressing non-native acidic clusters exhibited delayed viral growth kinetics and decreased production of infectious virus, indicating that the native acidic cluster of pp28 was essential for wild-type virus assembly. These results suggested that the acidic cluster of pp28 has distinct functional domains required for trafficking and for efficient virus assembly. The first half (aa 44-50) of the acidic cluster was sufficient for pp28 trafficking, whereas the native acidic cluster consisting of aa 51-59 was required for the assembly of wild-type levels of infectious virus.