Experimental local therapy of human melanoma with lytic magainin peptides

Int J Cancer. 1995 Jan 17;60(2):280-4. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910600225.


Magainin peptides and model amphipathic peptides exhibit antibiotic activity and are also cytolytic for transformed human cells. Here we demonstrate in vitro that MSI-511 (an all-D amino-acid model magainin peptide) and MSI-130 (a margainin analogue) were more lytic for 17 human melanomas than for normal melanocytes. Melanomas established s.c. in athymic nude mice and then injected once with the peptide MSI-511 completely disappeared in 6 out of 9 animals, whereas a control peptide had no effect. Murine skin at the tumor injection site was initially affected, but healed within 2 weeks with minimal scarring. Similarly, accelerated healing was seen in human skin grafted to SCID mice and injected with MSI-511. Our results indicate that lytic magainin peptides can be used for local tumor therapy with minimal long-term damage to normal tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MSI 511
  • Peptides