Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 5490–5504 | Cite as

Pro-necrotic Activity of Cationic Mastoparan Peptides in Human Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells Via Membranolytic Action

  • Annielle Mendes Brito da Silva
  • Laíz Costa Silva-Gonçalves
  • Fernando Augusto Oliveira
  • Manoel Arcisio-Miranda


Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and lethal malignant brain tumor. Because of its complexity and heterogeneity, this tumor has become resistant to conventional therapies and the available treatment produces multiple side effects. Here, using multiple experimental approaches, we demonstrate that three mastoparan peptides—Polybia-MP1, Mastoparan X, and HR1—from solitary wasp venom exhibit potent anticancer activity toward human glioblastoma multiforme cells. Importantly, the antiglioblastoma action of mastoparan peptides occurs by membranolytic activity, leading to necrosis. Our data also suggest a direct relation between mastoparan membranolytic potency and the presence of negatively charged phospholipids like phosphatidylserine. Collectively, these data may warrant additional studies for mastoparan peptides as new agents for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.


Mastoparan Glioblastoma Cationic peptide Necrosis Phosphatidylserine 



This study was supported by research grants from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp) (Processo no 2012/02065-0 and 2016/13368-4 to M.A.-M., and 2012/50336-2 to F.A.O.) and a grant from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (Processo no 477780/2010-5 to M.A.-M.). A.M.B.S is a Capes fellowship recipient. L.C.S.-G. is a CNPq fellowship recipient (Processo no 142066/2014-1). We thank Fapesp for funding 2009/53840-0.

Author Contributions

A.M.B.S and L.C.S.-G. performed the experiments. A.M.B.S., L.C.S.-G, F.A.O., and M.A.-M. analyzed the experiments. M.A.-M. supervised the project. A.M.B.S., L.C.S.-G, and M.A.-M. wrote the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Neurobiologia Estrutural e Funcional (LaNEF), Departamento de Biofísica, Escola Paulista de MedicinaUniversidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Neurobiologia Celular e Molecular (LaNeC), Centro de Matemática, Computação e CogniçãoUniversidade Federal do ABC (UFABC)São PauloBrazil

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