Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) is a multifunctional protein involved in both extracellular proteolysis and signal transduction. uPA usually mediates its actions while attached to a membrane-bound receptor, termed uPAR. In this study, uPA and its receptor were measured at both protein and mRNA levels in breast cancer. At both levels, concentrations of uPA were significantly correlated with those for uPAR. uPA levels also correlated significantly with cathepsin B and cathepsin D but not with cathepsin L, MMP-8 or MMP-9 levels. Irrespective of the cut-off point used (e.g., median, tertile or quartile values), uPA was a significant prognostic marker for breast cancer.