The presence of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) in the apocrine adenocarcinoma tumor line (CAC-8) derived from a hypercalcemic dog was demonstrated by western and northern blot analyses. Western blots of CAC-8 tumor extracts revealed a major protein with a molecular weight of approximately 18,000 daltons that cross-reacted with antiserum to human PTHrP. Northern blots demonstrated multiple-sized messenger RNA transcripts in CAC-8 that hybridized to a full-length cDNA probe to human PTHrP. Adenocarcinomas derived from apocrine glands of the anal sac also were stained immunohistochemically for antigens that cross-react with antiserum to human PTHrP. The tumor line (CAC-8) maintained in nude mice stained positively for PTHrP in 13 of 24 tumors. Three of ten apocrine adenocarcinomas from dogs with hypercalcemia stained for PTHrP, whereas zero of ten tumors were positive from normocalcemic dogs. Normal canine epidermal keratinocytes and areas of squamous metaplasia in a perianal gland carcinoma also were positive for PTHrP. These data demonstrated that canine tissues contained a homologue to human PTHrP that likely is important in the pathogenesis of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy.