Malignant progression in gliomas is correlated with increased migratory capacity which involves metalloproteolytic activity. Here, we report that ectopic expression of BCL-2 in two malignant glioma sublines markedly promoted glioma cell migration from spheroids and invasion into Matrigel-coated membranes. Invasion of fetal rat-brain aggregates was enhanced by BCL-2. Zymography revealed activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in BCL-2-expressing cells. BCL-2 expressing cells showed an increase in MMP-2/-3/-12 (LN-18), and MMP-9/-12 and cell surface urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) (LN-229) mRNA and a reduction in tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-2 mRNA (LN-229). Taken together, we propose a novel function for BCL-2 in the malignant phenotype of glioma cells, that is, to enhance migration and invasion by altering the expression of a set of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors.