A large genomic deletion in human cardiac ryanodine receptor (RYR2) gene has been detected in a number of unrelated families with various clinical phenotypes, including catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). This genomic deletion results in an in-frame deletion of exon-3 (Ex3-del). To understand the underlying disease mechanism of the RyR2 Ex3-del mutation, we generated a mouse model in which the RyR2 exon-3 sequence plus 15-bp intron sequences flanking exon-3 were deleted. Heterozygous Ex3-del mice (Ex3-del+/-) survived, but no homozygous Ex3-del mice were born. Unexpectedly, the Ex3-del+/- mice are not susceptible to CPVT. Ex3-del+/- cardiomyocytes exhibited similar amplitude but altered dynamics of depolarization-induced Ca2+ transients compared to wild type (WT) cells. Immunoblotting analysis revealed markedly reduced expression of RyR2 protein in the Ex3-del+/- mutant heart, indicating that Ex3-del has a major impact on RyR2 protein expression in mice. Cardiac specific, conditional knockout of the WT RyR2 allele in Ex3-del+/- mice led to bradycardia and death. Thus, the absence of CPVT and other phenotypes in Ex3-del+/- mice may be attributable to the predominant expression of the WT RyR2 allele as a result of the markedly reduced expression of the Ex3-del mutant allele. The effect of Ex3-del on RyR2 protein expression is discussed in relation to the phenotypic variability in individuals with the RyR2 exon-3 deletion.