Inverse agonists, ligands that suppress spontaneous receptor signaling activity, have been described for a growing number of G protein-coupled receptors; however, none have been reported for the PTH/calcitonin/secretin receptor family. We took advantage of the constitutive signaling activity of two mutant forms of the PTH/PTH-related peptide (PTHrP) receptor, recently identified in patients with Jansen's metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, to screen for PTH and PTHrP analogs with inverse agonist activity. Two antagonist peptides, [Leu11, D-Trp12]hPTHrP(7-34)NH2 and [D-Trp12, Tyr34]bPTH-(7-34)NH2, displayed inverse agonist activity and reduced cAMP in COS-7 cells expressing either mutant receptor by 30-50% (EC50 approximately 50 nM). These data demonstrate that the concept of inverse agonism can be extended to this distinct family of G protein-coupled receptors and their cognate antagonist peptide ligands. Such ligands shall be useful probes of the multi-state conformational equilibria proposed for these receptors and could lead to new approaches for treating human diseases caused by receptor activating mutations.