Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, but their effects on T-cells have not been well studied. Here we analyzed the functions of PTHrP and MIP-1α on T-cell growth and death both in vitro and in vivo by overexpressing either factor in human Jurkat T-cells. PTHrP or MIP-1α did not affect Jurkat cell growth in vitro, but PTHrP increased their sensitivity to apoptosis. Importantly, PTHrP and MIP-1α decreased both tumor incidence and growth in vivo. To investigate possible mechanisms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) arrays and real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays were performed. Both PTHrP and MIP-1α increased the expression of several factors including signal transducer and activator of transcription 4, tumor necrosis factor α, receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand and death-associated protein kinase 1, and decreased the expression of inhibitor of DNA binding 1, interferon γ and CD40 ligand in Jurkat cells. In addition, MIP-1α also increased the expression of transcription factor AP-2α and PTHrP increased expression of the vitamin D3 receptor. These data demonstrate that PTHrP and MIP-1α exert a profound antitumor effect presumably by increasing the sensitivity to apoptotic signals through modulation of transcription and apoptosis factors in T-cells. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.