An amino acid mutation (R127→I) in the 3A non-structural protein of an FMDV serotype Asia1 rabbit-attenuated ZB strain was previously found after attenuation of the virus. To explore the effects of this mutation on viral replication and infection, the amino acid residue isoleucine (I) was changed to arginine (R) in the infectious cDNA clone of the rabbit-attenuated ZB strain by site-directed mutagenesis, and the R127-mutated virus was rescued. BHK monolayer cells and suckling mice were inoculated with the R127-mutated virus to test its growth property and pathogenicity, respectively. The effects of the R127 mutation on viral replication and virulence were analyzed. The data showed that there was a slight difference in plaque morphology between the R127-mutated and wild-type viruses. The growth rate of the mutated virus was lower in BHK-21 cells and its virulence in suckling mice was also attenuated. This study indicates that the R127 mutation in 3A may play an important role in FMDV replication in vitro and in pathogenicity in suckling mice.