The expression of metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and its association with pathological characteristics and prognosis for NSCLC patients were investigated retrospectively. The expression of MACC1 was evaluated through immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays from 180 samples of resected lung cancer tissues and adjacent normal lung tissues. MACC1 protein and mRNA expression were also examined from lung cancer cell lines with different metastatic potentials, 28 pairs of samples of resected fresh non-small cell lung cancer tissues, and adjacent normal lung tissues. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays showed that MACC1 was located in the cytoplasm. In addition, the expression of MACC1 protein in NSCLC was significantly higher compared to adjacent normal tissues (P < 0.001). The expression of MACC1 was positively associated with differentiation grade (P = 0.020), postoperative pathological TNM stage (P = 0.033), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.028). Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) for the high MACC1 expression group were lower than the low expression group; univariate and multivariate regression analyses showed that MACC1 was an independent prognostic indicator for DFS (HR 3.124, P = 0.01) and OS (HR 2.905, P = 0.01) in NSCLC patients. The expression of MACC1 protein and mRNA was also upregulated in highly metastatic human lung cancer. In conclusion, the overexpression of MACC1 protein and mRNA may represent a potentially useful biomarker for the prognosis of NSCLC patients and might be involved in progression of NSCLC.