Parathyroid hormone (PTH)-related protein (PTHrP) (gene name Pthlh) was discovered as the factor responsible for the humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy. It shares such sequence similarity with PTH in the amino-terminal region that the two are equally able to act through a single G protein-coupled receptor, PTH1R. A number of biological activities are ascribed to domains of PTHrP beyond the amino-terminal domain. PTH functions as a circulating hormone, but PTHrP is generated locally in many tissues including bone, where it acts as a paracrine factor on osteoblasts and osteocytes. The present study compares how PTH and PTHrP influence cyclic AMP (cAMP) formation through adenylyl cyclase, the first event in cell activation through PTH1R. Brief exposure to full length PTHrP(1–141) in several osteoblastic cell culture systems was followed by sustained adenylyl cyclase activity for more than an hour after ligand washout. This effect was dose-dependent and was not found with shorter PTHrP or PTH peptides even though they were fully able to activate adenylyl cyclase with acute treatment. The persistent activation response to PTHrP(1–141) was seen also with later events in the cAMP/PKA pathway, including persistent activation of CRE-luciferase and sustained regulation of several CREB-responsive mRNAs, up to 24 h after the initial exposure. Pharmacologic blockade of endocytosis prevented the persistent activation of cAMP and gene responses. We conclude that full length PTHrP, the likely local physiological effector in bone, differs in intracellular action to PTH by undergoing endosomal translocation to induce a prolonged adenylyl cyclase activation in its target cells.