Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) is phosphorylated on multiple amino acid residues. For example, in response to estradiol binding, human ERalpha is predominately phosphorylated on Ser-118 and to a lesser extent on Ser-104 and Ser-106. In response to activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, phosphorylation occurs on Ser-118 and Ser-167. These serine residues are all located within the activation function 1 region of the N-terminal domain of ERalpha. In contrast, activation of protein kinase A increases the phosphorylation of Ser-236, which is located in the DNA-binding domain. The in vivo phosphorylation status of Tyr-537, located in the ligand-binding domain, remains controversial. In this review, I present evidence that these phosphorylations occur, and identify the kinases thought to be responsible. Additionally, the functional importance of ERalpha phosphorylation is discussed.