Our previous study has shown that matrix metalloproteinase 11 (MMP11) is highly expressed in tumor cell lines and primary tumor of gastric cancer (GC). In order to reveal the correlation between expression of MMP11 and biological features of GC cell, we have constructed the recombinant plasmids producing hairpin small interfering RNA (siRNA) to target MMP11 mRNA using a vector-based RNA interference technology. Stable transfection of recombinants into GC cell line BGC823 specifically depleted the mRNA and protein of MMP11 as demonstrated by RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis. The siRNA-treated cells exhibited significantly decreased growth ability compared with mock transfectants and parental BGC823 cells. Furthermore, colony formation of MMP11 deficient cells was dramatically inhibited in soft agar and tumorigenicity was reduced in nude mice, respectively. These results provide new insights into the function of MMP11 and suggest that MMP11 may play an important role in the control of cell proliferation and tumor development in GC.