Matrix metalloproteinase-11 (MMP-11) belongs to the particular member of MMP family, a group of zinc-dependent endopeptidases involved in tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. MMP-11 is strongly expressed in tumor cells and stromal fibroblasts located in the immediate vicinity of tumor. This study investigated the possible role of MMP-11 expression in mouse hepatocarcinoma cell line Hca-F with highly lymphatic metastasis potential by RNA interference (RNAi) approach. The results showed that a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted against MMP-11 significantly impeded Hca-F cells proliferation and colony formation in soft agar, as well as resulted in Hca-F cell apoptosis. This reduction of MMP-11 expression also led to the decreased migration and adhesion of Hca-F cells dramatically both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, in vivo metastasis assay indicated that down-regulation of MMP-11 expression in Hca-F cells attenuated the metastatic potential of Hca-F cells to peripheral lymph nodes. These data together provide compelling evidence into the function of MMP-11 and suggest that MMP-11 act as a tumor lymphatic metastasis-associated gene, and could represent a new potential target for gene therapy.