Molecular chaperones, or heat shock proteins (HSPs), protect against the toxic misfolding and aggregation of proteins. As such, mutations or deficiencies within the chaperone network can lead to disease. In fact, dominant mutations in DNAJB6 (Hsp40/Sis1), an Hsp70 co-chaperone, leads to a protein aggregate myopathy termed Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type D1 (LGMDD1). DNAJB6 client proteins and co-chaperone interactions in skeletal muscle are not known. Here, we used the yeast prion model client in conjunction with in vitro chaperone activity assays to gain mechanistic insights, and found that LGMDD1 mutants affect Hsp40 functions. Strikingly, the mutants changed the structure of client protein aggregates, as determined by altered distribution of prion strains. They also impair the Hsp70 ATPase cycle, dimerization, and substrate processing and consequently poison the function of wild-type protein. These results define the mechanisms by which LGMDD1 mutations alter chaperone activity and provide avenues for therapeutic intervention.