Human malignant melanomas express receptors for luteinizing hormone releasing hormone allowing targeted therapy with cytotoxic luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue

Gunhild Keller, Andrew V. Schally, Timo Gaiser, Attila Nagy, Benjamin Baker, Gabriela Westphal, Gabor Halmos, Jörg B. Engel

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33 Scopus citations


Cytotoxic analogue of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH), AN-207, binds with high affinity to LHRH receptors and can be targeted to tumors expressing these receptors. We investigated the expression of LHRH receptors in surgical specimens of human malignant melanoma and evaluated the effects of AN-207 in models of human melanoma. Human melanoma specimens derived from primary tumors or metastases were examined for LHRH receptor expression by immunohistochemistry. Binding assays, Western immunoblotting, and reverse transcription-PCR analyses were used to investigate LHRH receptors in MRI-H 255 and MRI-H187 transplantable human melanoma tumor lines. Antitumor effects of AN-207 and its components were evaluated in vivo in nude mice bearing xenografts of either melanoma tumor line. All 19 human melanoma specimens examined showed positive staining for LHRH receptors. The mRNA for LHRH receptors, receptor protein and binding sites for LHRH were detected in both transplantable melanoma tumor lines. AN-207 significantly inhibited the growth of MRI-H255 and MRI-H187 xenografts in vivo, reducing tumor volume by 59.9% to 79.2% and tumor weight by 61.0% to 76.9% (all P < 0.05). The components of AN-207 (LH-RH analogue carrier and cytotoxic radical AN-201 as single drugs or as an unconjugated mixture) had no significant effects. Blockade of LHRH receptors by an excess of LHRH agonist Decapeptyl suppressed the effects of AN-207. LHRH receptors are expressed in a very high percentage of human malignant melanoma specimens and can be used for targeted chemotherapy with cytotoxic LHRH analogue AN-207.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5857-5863
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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