Peptides corresponding to the amino-terminal region of the parathyroid hormonerelated protein (PTHrP) of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy were synthesized. A 34-amino acid peptide, PTHrP(1-34), was two to four times more potent than bovine or human PTH(1-34) in bioassays promoting the formation of adenosine 3′,5′monophosphate (cAMP) and plasminogen activator activity in osteogenic sarcoma cells and adenylate cyclasc activity in chick kidney membranes. Like parathyroid hormone itself, in which the activity resides in the first 34 residues, PTHrP peptides of less than 30 residues from the amino terminus showed substantially reduced activity. PTHrP(1-34) had only 6% of die potency of bovine PTH(1-34) in promoting bone resorption in vitro. PTHrP(1-34) strongly promoted the excretion of cAMP and phosphorus and reduced the excretion of calcium in the isolated, perfused rat kidney consistent with the symptoms seen in malignant hypercalcemia.