Tumour cells have to undergo gene expression changes in order to metastasise and adapt to a new site. We investigated these changes in liver metastases of colorectal cancer by using genome-wide microarray analysis to profile the expression of 48 primary tumours and 28 liver metastases. Statistical analysis of these expression profiles using the significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) method identified 778 genes differentially expressed between primary tumours and metastases. Gene ontology analysis revealed that genes associated with tissue remodelling and immune response were upregulated in metastases relative to primary tumours, whereas genes associated with proliferation and oxidative phosphorylation were downregulated. Quantitative real-time PCR confirmed the differential expression of selected genes, osteopontin, versican, ADAM17, CKS2, PRDX1, CXCR4, CXCL12, and LCN2. The upregulation of genes associated with tissue remodelling and immune response are likely to be involved in metastatic invasion and colonisation of the new site because these genes can promote tumour progression. However, downregulation of genes associated with proliferation suggests that proliferation in metastases was reduced relative to primary tumours.