The kisspeptin peptide is a signaling molecule that interacts with a receptor called GPR54. The peptide has been shown to have anticancer effects in various cancers including prostate, breast, pancreatic and ovarian. It has been observed to decrease the proliferation of tumor cells and increase apoptosis. It also acts to inhibit cell migration, which may stop cancerous cells from sticking to other tissues and spreading.
The peptide is produced by neurons in the rostral periventricular nucleus, which is part of the mediobasal hypothalamus. It is the same area that is neonatally imprinted and subsequently controls sex-typical physiology and behaviors. The GPR54 receptor is expressed in these neurons, as well as the arcuate nucleus.
In one study, kisspeptin peptides were administered to men and triggered a rapid and dose-dependent increase in testosterone. In addition, they influenced the normal pulsatile release of LH. This suggests that kisspeptin helps to fine tune sex hormone secretion in the arc.
Research continues to reveal the many roles kisspeptin plays in the body. It is a complex peptide and research is ongoing to better understand how it can be cut, recombined, altered, and modulated. One thing that has already been discovered is that it suppresses metastasis in melanoma cells. The peptide appears to do this by decreasing cell adhesion. It also has been shown to be neuroprotective and can prevent the formation of prion-like proteins. It is also thought to protect against the degeneration of brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease and may delay onset of dementia.