Jumonji domain containing 2A (JMJD2A) is a potential cancer-associated gene that may be involved in human breast cancer. The present study aimed to investigate suppressive effects on the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line by transfection with JMJD2A-specific siRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analysis were used to detect the expression levels of JMJD2A. Flow cytometric (FCM) analysis and WST-8 assay were used to evaluate cell proliferation. Boyden chambers were used in cell migration and invasion assays to evaluate the cell exercise capacity. Expression levels of JMJD2A mRNA and protein in the siRNA group were both downregulated successfully by transfection. FCM results showed that the percentage of cells in the G0/G1 phase in the siRNA group was significantly greater than that in the blank (P<0.05) and negative control groups (P<0.05). Additionally, the mean absorbance in the siRNA group was significantly lower (P<0.05), as observed by WST-8 assay. Moreover, a decreased number of migrated cells in the siRNA group was observed (P<0.05) using a cell migration and invasion assay. These data indicated that knockdown of JMJD2A may cause inhibition of proliferation, migration and invasion of MCF-7 cells. This study provides a new perspective in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of breast cancer and offers a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer.