A human fibroblast cDNA expression library was screened for cDNA clones giving rise to flat colonies when transfected into v-Ki-ras-transformed NIH 3T3 cells. One such gene, RECK, encodes a membrane-anchored glycoprotein of about 110 kDa with multiple epidermal growth factor-like repeats and serine-protease inhibitor-like domains. While RECK mRNA is expressed in various human tissues and untransformed cells, it is undetectable in tumor-derived cell lines and oncogenically transformed cells. Restored expression of RECK in malignant cells resulted in suppression of invasive activity with concomitant decrease in the secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), a key enzyme involved in tumor invasion and metastasis. Moreover, purified RECK protein was found to bind to, and inhibit the proteolytic activity of, MMP-9. Thus, RECK may link oncogenic signals to tumor invasion and metastasis.