Colitis-associated colorectal cancers are an etiologically distinct subgroup of colon cancers that occur in individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and arise as a consequence of persistent exposure of hyperproliferative epithelial stem cells to an inflammatory microenvironment. An intrinsic defect in the intestinal epithelial barrier has been proposed to be one of several factors that contribute to the inappropriate immune response to the commensal microbiota that underlies inflammatory bowel disease. Matriptase is a membrane-anchored serine protease encoded by Suppression of Tumorigenicity-14 (ST14) that strengthens the intestinal epithelial barrier by promoting tight junction formation. Here, we show that intestinal epithelial-specific ablation of St14 in mice causes formation of colon adenocarcinoma with very early onset and high penetrance. Neoplastic progression is preceded by a chronic inflammation of the colon that resembles human inflammatory bowel disease and is promoted by the commensal microbiota. This study demonstrates that inflammation-associated colon carcinogenesis can be initiated and promoted solely by an intrinsic intestinal permeability barrier perturbation, establishes St14 as a critical tumor-suppressor gene in the mouse gastrointestinal tract and adds matriptase to the expanding list of pericellular proteases with tumor-suppressive functions.