Cytolytic peptides are an emerging class of promising cancer therapeutics shown to overcome drug resistance. They eliminate cancer cells via disruption of the phospholipid bilayer of cell membranes, a mechanism that differentiates it from traditional treatments. However, applications of lytic peptides via systematic administration are hampered by nonspeciﬁc toxicity. Here, we describe activatable, masked lytic peptides that are conjugated with anionic peptides via a cleavable linker sensitive to matrix metalloproteinases (Ac-w-βA-e8-XPLG*LAG-klUklUkklUklUk-NH2; lower case letters in the sequences represent D-amino-acids, U=Aib, α-aminoisobutyric acid, *cleavage site). The peptides were activated upon being introduced into the triple negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, which overexpresses secreted matrix metalloproteinases, to selectively cleave the peptide linker. Our results indicate that the activatable design could be applied to improve the targeting ability of lytic peptides.