We report that artemin, a member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family of ligands, is oncogenic for human mammary carcinoma. Artemin is expressed in numerous human mammary carcinoma cell lines. Forced expression of artemin in mammary carcinoma cells results in increased anchorage-independent growth, increased colony formation in soft agar and in three-dimensional Matrigel, and also promotes a scattered cell phenotype with enhanced migration and invasion. Moreover, forced expression of artemin increases tumor size in xenograft models and leads to highly proliferative, poorly differentiated and invasive tumors. Expression data in Oncomine indicate that high artemin expression is significantly associated with residual disease after chemotherapy, metastasis, relapse and death. Artemin protein is detectable in 65% of mammary carcinoma and its expression correlates to decreased overall survival in the cohort of patients. Depletion of endogenous artemin with small interfering RNA, or antibody inhibition of artemin, decreases the oncogenicity and invasiveness of mammary carcinoma cells. Artemin is therefore oncogenic for human mammary carcinoma, and targeted therapeutic approaches to inhibit artemin function in mammary carcinoma warrant consideration.