We report the absence of functional parathyroid hormone (PTH)/PTH-related peptide (PTHrP) receptors (PTH/PTHrP receptor) in Blomstrand chondrodysplasia, a genetic disorder characterized by advanced endochondral bone maturation. Analysis of PTH/PTHrP receptor genomic DNA from a patient with Blomstrand chondrodysplasia demonstrated that the patient was heterozygous for a point mutation (G--> A substitution at nucleotide 1176) inherited from the mother. Analysis of PTH/PTHrP receptor cDNA demonstrated that: (a) this point mutation caused the deletion of the first 11 amino acids of exon M5 (encoding the fifth transmembrane domain of the receptor), resulting from the use of a novel splice site created by the base substitution; (b) the mutant receptor was well expressed in COS-7 cells, but did not bind PTH or PTHrP, and failed to induce detectable stimulation of either cAMP or inositol phosphate production in response to these ligands; and (c) the paternal allele was not expressed. Thus, only the abnormal and nonfunctional PTH/PTHrP receptors encoded by the maternal allele were expressed by chondrocytes from this patient. In view of the known role played by the PTH/PTHrP receptor in bone and cartilage development, these results strongly support the conclusion that the absence of functional PTH/ PTHrP receptors is responsible for the skeletal abnormalities seen in Blomstrand chondrodysplasia, abnormalities that are the mirror image of those observed in Jansen's chondrodysplasia. These findings emphasize the importance of signaling through this receptor in human fetal skeletal development.