Protein kinase C (PKC) has been shown to be a signal transducer during tumorigenesis, tumor cell invasion, and metastasis. Recent studies have reported that the PKC inhibitor, 7-hydroxystaurosporine, inhibits tumor cell invasion. However, the molecular mechanisms of this inhibition of invasion and metastasis are not well understood. In the present study, we attempt to clarify the mechanism by which H7, a PKC inhibitor, inhibits tumor cell invasion and metastasis in the melanoma cell line B16BL6. It was found that H7 inhibits B16BL6 cell invasion and metastasis. We also observed that H7 inhibits the mRNA expression and protein activities of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, -2, -9 and MT1-MMP. Furthermore, H7 suppresses phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). However, other signal transduction factors, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2), were unaffected. Moreover, U0126, a MEK1/2 inhibitor, also inhibited B16BL6 cell invasion and metastasis, as well as the mRNA expression and protein activities of MMP-1, -2, -9 and MT1-MMP. This indicates that H7 inhibits signal transduction through the PKC/MEK/ERK pathway, thereby inhibiting B16BL6 cell invasion and metastasis. These results suggest that PKC inhibitors have potential clinical applications in the treatment of tumor cell metastasis.