The Saffold virus (SAFV) genome is translated as a single long polyprotein precursor and co-translationally cleaved to yield 12 separate viral proteins. Little is known about the activities of SAFV proteins although their homologs in other picornaviruses have already been described. To further support research on functions and activities of respective viral proteins, we investigated the spatio-temporal distribution of SAFV proteins in Vero and HEp-2 cells that had been either transfected with plasmids that express individual viral proteins or infected with live SAFV. Our results revealed that, with the exception of the Leader (L) protein, all viral proteins were localized in the cytoplasm at all the time points assayed. The L protein was found in the cytoplasm at an early time point but was subsequently translocated to the nucleus of HEp-2, but not Vero, cells. This was observed in both transfected and infected cells. Further mutational analysis of L protein revealed that Threonine 58 of the Ser/Thr-rich domain of L protein is crucial for protein trafficking between the cytoplasm and nucleus in HEp-2 cells. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding and stimulate investigation of the differetial cellular responses of HEp-2 cells in comparison to other mammalian cell lines during SAFV infection.