Background: Cardiac kinases play a critical role in the development of heart failure, and represent potential tractable therapeutic targets. However, only a very small fraction of the cardiac kinome has been investigated. To identify novel cardiac kinases involved in heart failure, we used an integrated transcriptomics and bioinformatics analysis and identified Homeodomain-Interacting Protein Kinase 2 (HIPK2) as a novel candidate kinase. The role of HIPK2 in cardiac biology is unknown. Methods: We used the Expression2Kinase algorithm for the screening of kinase targets. To determine the role of HIPK2 in the heart, we generated cardiomyocyte (CM)-specific HIPK2 knockout and heterozygous mice. Heart function was examined by echocardiography, and related cellular and molecular mechanisms were examined. Adeno-associated virus serotype 9 carrying cardiac-specific constitutively active MEK1 (TnT-MEK1-CA) was administrated to rescue cardiac dysfunction in CM-HIPK2 knockout mice. Results: To our knowledge, this is the first study to define the role of HIPK2 in cardiac biology. Using multiple HIPK2 loss-of-function mouse models, we demonstrated that reduction of HIPK2 in CMs leads to cardiac dysfunction, suggesting a causal role in heart failure. It is important to note that cardiac dysfunction in HIPK2 knockout mice developed with advancing age, but not during development. In addition, CM-HIPK2 knockout mice and CM-HIPK2 heterozygous mice exhibited a gene dose-response relationship of CM-HIPK2 on heart function. HIPK2 expression in the heart was significantly reduced in human end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy in comparison to nonfailing myocardium, suggesting a clinical relevance of HIPK2 in cardiac biology. In vitro studies with neonatal rat ventricular CMscorroborated the in vivo findings. Specifically, adenovirus-mediated overexpression of HIPK2 suppressed the expression of heart failure markers, NPPA and NPPB, at basal condition and abolished phenylephrine-induced pathological gene expression. An array of mechanistic studies revealed impaired extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 signaling in HIPK2-deficient hearts. An in vivo rescue experiment with adeno-associated virus serotype 9 TnT-MEK1-CA nearly abolished the detrimental phenotype of knockout mice, suggesting that impaired extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling mediated apoptosis as the key factor driving the detrimental phenotype in CM-HIPK2 knockout mice hearts. Conclusions: Taken together, these findings suggest that CM-HIPK2 is required to maintain normal cardiac function via extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling.