Tumor invasion-inhibiting factor 2 (IIF-2) is a polypeptide of 21 amino acids which binds to the surface of tumor cells and inhibits experimental invasion in vitro. An albumin conjugate of IIF-2 was used to examine its potential as an antimetastatic compound. The conjugate inhibits in vivo lung metastasis of various highly metastatic tumor cells, including murine melanoma, colon adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, forestomach carcinoma, and human fibrosarcoma. In addition to the anti-lung metastasis activity of this compound, it also showed the inhibitory effects on liver and spleen metastasis of murine T-lymphoma cells. A single administration of the conjugate with melanoma cells resulted in prolonged survival times, and their lung colonization was also inhibited when the conjugate was administrated i.v. at times ranging from 6 h before to 1 h after tumor cell inoculation. Similarly, i.p. administration 1 h prior to melanoma cell injection suppressed lung colonization. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed that the conjugate was more stable than IIF-2 peptide alone. Approximately 10% of the conjugate remained circulating 2 h postinjection and persisted 20 h without degradation, compared with rapid clearing of the unconjugated IIF-2 peptide within 5 min. Furthermore, spontaneous lung metastasis of murine melanoma and colon adenocarcinoma cell was inhibited by successive i.p. administration of the conjugate before the removal of the primary site, with no effect on primary tumor growth. The conjugate significantly reduced tumor cell arrest in the lung and both the IIF-2 peptide and its conjugate demonstrated potent inhibition of basal as well as cytokine-induced-stimulated tumor cell motility. These results suggest that one mode of IIF-2 action may be inhibition of the extravasation of metastasizing cells which have arrested in a target organ, and that the IIF-2-albumin conjugate may be a potent antimetastatic substance with utility in the prevention of artificial seeding of tumor cells during surgical removal of the primary lesions as well as inhibiting metastasis from established metastases.