Cellular invasion depends on cooperation between adhesive and proteolytic mechanisms. Evidence is provided that the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-2 can be localized in a proteolytically active form on the surface of invasive cells, based on its ability to bind directly integrin alpha v beta 3. MMP-2 and alpha v beta 3 were specifically colocalized on angiogenic blood vessels and melanoma cells in vivo. Expression of alpha v beta 3 on cultured melanoma cells enabled their binding to MMP-2 in a proteolytically active form, facilitating cell-mediated collagen degradation. In vitro, these proteins formed an SDS-stable complex that depended on the noncatalytic C-terminus of MMP-2, since a truncation mutant lost the ability to bind alpha v beta 3. These findings define a single cell-surface receptor that regulates both matrix degradation and motility, thereby facilitating directed cellular invasion.