Metastasis is the leading cause of death in breast cancer patients. Recent evidence suggests that inflammation-related cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is implicated in tumor invasion and metastasis, but the mechanism of its involvement remains elusive. In this study, we employed MCF-7 breast cancer cells as an experimental model to demonstrate that TNF-α inhibits breast cancer cell adhesion and cell proliferation through hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) mediated suppression of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). We observed that TNF-α treatment attenuated the adhesion and proliferation of MCF-7 cells it also dramatically increased HIF-1α expression and decreased VASP expression. Through a variety of approaches, including promoter assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we identified VASP as a direct target gene of HIF-1α. In addition, we confirmed that HIF-1α mediated the repression of VASP expression by TNF-α in MCF-7 cells. We also demonstrated that exogenous VASP expression or knockdown of HIF-1α relieved TNF-α induced inhibition of cell adhesion and proliferation. We identified a novel TNF-α/HIF-1α/VASP axis in which HIF-1α acts downstream of TNF-α to inhibit VASP expression and modulate the adhesion and proliferation of breast cancer cells. These data provide new insight into the potential anti-tumor effects of TNF-α.