Human gliomas are highly invasive, and remain to be a major obstacle for any effective therapeutic remedy. Among many other factors, gliomas express elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which have been implicated to play an important role in tumor invasion as well as neovascularization. The tumor suppressor gene mutated in multiple advanced cancers/phosphatase and tensin homologue (MMAC/PTEN) has been shown to inhibit cell migration, spreading, and focal adhesion. In this study, we determined whether MMAC/PTEN inhibits tumor invasion by modulating MMP-2 activity. Our results showed that reintroduction of the MMAC/PTEN gene into human glioma U251 and U87 cells modified their phenotype and growth characteristics. The ability of MMAC/PTEN to induce anoikis in U251 cells was accompanied by a significant inhibition of in vitro invasion (70%). Expression of MMAC/PTEN in U251 and U87 cells inhibited MMP-2 enzymatic activity as determined by zymography. Furthermore, MMAC/PTEN expression strongly decreased MMP-2 mRNA levels, which correlated well with the inhibition of invasion capacity in these cells. Concomitant with MMP-2 expression and activity, MMP-2 promoter activity was also reduced in MMAC/PTEN expressing cells. Our observations suggest that MMAC/PTEN inhibits tumor cell invasion in part by regulating MMP-2 gene transcription and thereby its enzymatic activity. Further characterization of this regulation will facilitate the development of MMAC/PTEN based gene therapy for gliomas.