Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays an important role in the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. In this study, we examined the inhibitory effect of silibinin, a flavonoid antioxidant from milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.) on PMA-induced MMP-9 expression in MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells. Silibinin significantly and selectively suppressed PMA-induced MMP-9 expression in MCF-7. Silibinin has been found to inhibit PMA-induced MMP-9 gene transcriptional activity by blocking the activation of AP-1 via MAPK signaling pathways. Moreover, the Matrigel invasion assay showed that silibinin reduces PMA-induced invasion of MCF-7 cells. These results suggest that silibinin represents a potential anti-metastatic agent suppressing PMA-induced cancer cell invasion through the specific inhibition of AP-1-dependent MMP-9 gene expression.