Many coxsackievirus B isolates bind to human decay-accelerating factor (DAF) as well as to the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). The first-described DAF-binding isolate, coxsackievirus B3 (CB3)-RD, was obtained during passage of the prototype strain CB3-Nancy on RD cells, which express DAF but very little CAR. CB3-RD binds to human DAF, whereas CB3-Nancy does not. To determine the molecular basis for the specific interaction of CB3-RD with DAF, we produced cDNA clones encoding both CB3-RD and CB3-Nancy and mutated each of the sites at which the RD and Nancy sequences diverged. We found that a single amino acid change, the replacement of a glutamate within VP3 (VP3-234E) with a glutamine residue (Q), conferred upon CB3-Nancy the capacity to bind DAF and to infect RD cells. Readaptation of molecularly cloned CB3-Nancy to RD cells selected for a new virus with the same VP3-234Q residue. In experiments with CB3-H3, another virus isolate that does not bind measurably to DAF, adaptation to RD cells resulted in a DAF-binding isolate with a single amino acid change within VP2 (VP2-138 N to D). Both VP3-234Q and VP2-138D were required for binding of CB3-RD to DAF. In the structure of the CB3-RD-DAF complex determined by cryo-electron microscopy, both VP3-234Q and VP2-138D are located at the contact site between the virus and DAF.