CCL5 (previously called RANTES) is in the CC-chemokine family and plays a crucial role in the migration and metastasis of human cancer cells. On the other hand, the effect of CCL5 is mediated via CCR receptor. RT-PCR and flow cytometry studies demonstrated CCR5 but not CCR1 and CCR3 mRNA in oral cancer cell lines, especially higher in those with high invasiveness (SCC4) as compared with lower levels in HSC3 cells and SCC9 cells. Stimulation of oral cancer cells with CCL5 directly increased the migration and metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) production. MMP-9 small interfering RNA inhibited the CCL5-induced MMP-9 expression and thereby significantly inhibited the CCL5-induced cell migration. Activations of phospholipase C (PLC), protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ), and NF-κB pathways after CCL5 treatment was demonstrated, and CCL5-induced expression of MMP-9 and migration activity was inhibited by the specific inhibitor of PLC, PKCδ, and NF-κB cascades. In addition, migration-prone sublines demonstrate that cells with increasing migration ability had more expression of MMP-9, CCL5, and CCR5. Taken together, these results indicate that CCL5/CCR5 axis enhanced migration of oral cancer cells through the increase of MMP-9 production. J. Cell. Physiol. 220: 418–426, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.