Coxsackievirus B2 (CVB2), one of six human pathogens of the group B coxsackieviruses within the enterovirus genus of Picornaviridae, causes a wide spectrum of human diseases ranging from mild upper respiratory illnesses to myocarditis and meningitis. The CVB2 prototype strain Ohio-1 (CVB2O) was originally isolated from a patient with summer grippe in the 1950s. Later on, CVB2O was adapted to cytolytic replication in rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cells. Here, we present analyses of the correlation between the adaptive mutations of this RD variant and the cytolytic infection in RD cells. Using reverse genetics, we identified a single amino acid change within the exposed region of the VP1 protein (glutamine to lysine at position 164) as the determinant for the acquired cytolytic trait. Moreover, this cytolytic virus induced apoptosis, including caspase activation and DNA degradation, in RD cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the host cell adaptation process of CVB2O and provide a valuable tool for further studies of virus-host interactions.