Patients afflicted with glioblastoma (GBM) have poor survival due to dispersive invasion throughout the brain. Necl-5, a cell surface receptor for vitronectin, is expressed in GBM but not normal brain. In several GBM cell lines Necl-5 promotes migration and invasion but the mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we show that knockdown of Necl-5 by RNAi results in markedly decreased invasion of A172 GBM cells in a 3-dimensional matrix. There is a concomitant decrease in the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), a known factor in GBM invasion and disease severity. Knockdown of Necl-5 diminishes basal activation of Akt, an established mediator of MMP-2 expression in gliomas. Knockdown of Necl-5 also limits the maximal Akt activation in response to vitronectin, which requires the activity of Integrin-linked kinase (ILK). During migration, Necl-5, Akt and ILK co-localize at focal contacts at the leading edge of the plasma membrane, suggesting that these molecules may act to integrate Akt signaling at the leading edge to induce MMP-2 expression. By virtue of its restricted expression in GBM and its role in invasion, Necl-5 may be an attractive target for limiting MMP-2 production in glioblastoma, and therefore limiting dispersal.