Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a potent mitogen for mature hepatocytes. Because HGF has strong effects on the motility of keratinocytes and is produced by fibroblasts, HGF is thought to regulate keratinocyte migration during wound healing. However, the intracellular signaling mechanism of HGF-induced keratinocyte migration is poorly understood. In this report, we clarify the roles of STAT3 and SOCS/CIS family in HGF-induced keratinocyte migration. HGF activated STAT3 and strongly induced keratinocyte migration. Transfection with the dominant-negative mutant of STAT3 almost completely abolished HGF-induced keratinocyte migration and STAT3 phosphorylation. Next, we studied the mechanisms that regulate STAT3 phosphorylation. HGF enhanced the expression of SOCS3/CIS3 by sixfold within 1h, but had minimum effect on SOCS1/JAB expression. Transfection with SOCS3/CIS3 almost completely abolished HGF-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and keratinocyte migration, indicating that SOCS3/CIS3 acts as a negative regulator of HGF-induced keratinocyte migration. In conclusion, SOCS3/CIS3 regulates HGF-induced keratinocyte migration by inhibiting STAT3 phosphorylation.