The 11q terminal deletion disorder (11q-) is a rare chromosomal disorder caused by a deletion in distal 11q. Fifty-six percent of patients have clinically significant congenital heart defects. A cardiac “critical region” has been identified in distal 11q that contains over 40 annotated genes. In this study, we identify the distal breakpoint of a patient with a paracentric inversion in distal 11q who had hypoplastic left heart and congenital thrombocytopenia. The distal breakpoint mapped to JAM-3, a gene previously identified as a candidate gene for causing HLHS in 11q-. To determine the role of JAM-3 in cardiac development, we performed a comprehensive cardiac phenotypic assessment in which the mouse homolog for JAM-3, JAM-C, has been deleted. These mice have normal cardiac structure and function, indicating that haplo-insufficiency of JAM-3 is unlikely to cause the congenital heart defects that occur in 11q- patients. Notably, we identified a previously undescribed phenotype, jitteriness, in most of the sick or dying adult JAM-C knockout mice. These data provide further insights into the identification of the putative disease-causing cardiac gene(s) in distal 11q, as well as the functions of JAM-C in normal organ development. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.