The heart has been recognized as a major target of thyroid hormone action. Our study investigates both the regulation of cardiac-specific genes and contractile behavior of the heart in the presence of a mutant thyroid hormone receptor β1 (T3Rβ1-Δ337T) derived from the S kindred. The mutant receptor was originally identified in a patient with generalized resistance to thyroid hormone. Cardiac expression of the mutant receptor was achieved by a transgenic approach in mice. As the genes for myosin heavy chains (MHCα and MHCβ) and the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA2) are known to be regulated by T3, their cardiac expression was analyzed. The messenger RNA levels for MHCα and SERCA2 were markedly down-regulated, MHCβ messenger RNA was up-regulated. Although T3 levels were normal in these animals, this pattern of cardiac gene expression mimics a hypothyroid phenotype. Cardiac muscle contraction was significantly prolonged in papillary muscles from transgenic mice. The electrocardiogram of transgenic mice showed a substantial prolongation of the QRS interval. Changes in cardiac gene expression, cardiac muscle contractility, and electrocardiogram are compatible with a hypothyroid cardiac phenotype despite normal T3 levels, indicating a dominant negative effect of the T3Rβ mutant.