Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM)results from mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins, most often MYBPC3, which encodes cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C). A recently discovered HCM-associated 25-base pair deletion in MYBPC3 is inherited in millions worldwide. Although this mutation causes changes in the C10 domain of cMyBP-C (cMyBP-CC10mut), which binds to the light meromyosin (LMM) region of the myosin heavy chain, the underlying molecular mechanism causing HCM is unknown. In this study, adenoviral expression of cMyBP-CC10mut in cultured adult rat cardiomyocytes was used to investigate protein localization and evaluate contractile function and Ca2+ transients, compared with wildtype cMyBP-C expression (cMyBP-CWT) and controls. Fortyeight hours after infection, 44% of cMyBP-CWT and 36% of cMyBP-CC10mut protein levels were determined in total lysates, confirming equal expression. Immunofluorescence experiments showed little or no localization of cMyBP-CC10mut to the C-zone, whereas cMyBP-CWT mostly showed C-zone staining, suggesting that cMyBP-CC10mut could not properly integrate in the C-zone of the sarcomere. Subcellular fractionation confirmed that most cMyBP-CC10mut resided in the soluble fraction, with reduced presence in the myofilament fraction. Also, cMyBP-CC10mut displayed significantly reduced fractional shortening, sarcomere shortening, and relaxation velocities, apparently caused by defects in sarcomere function, because Ca2+ transients were unaffected. Co-sedimentation and protein cross-linking assays confirmed that C10mut causes the loss of C10 domain interaction with myosin LMM. Protein homology modeling studies showed significant structural perturbation in cMyBP-CC10mut, providing a potential structural basis for the alteration in its mode of interaction with myosin LMM. Therefore, expression of cMyBP-CC10mut protein is sufficient to cause contractile dysfunction in vitro.