Caveolin-1 (cav-1) and flotillin-1 are two major structural proteins associated with lipid rafts in mammalian cells. The membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) are expressed at the cell surface, hydrolyze extracellular matrix, and play an important role in cancer cell migration and metastasis. Expression of cav-1, flotillin-1, and MT4-MMP in lysates and lipid rafts of LS174T and HM-7 colon cancer cells was determined. The impact of restoration of cav-1 expression on proliferation, adhesion, motility in vitro, and growth of implanted tumors in vivo was characterized. Cav-1 is not expressed in lipid rafts of the highly metastatic colon cancer cell line (HM-7), but expressed in cytosolic fractions of the parental lower metastatic cell line (LS174T). In contrast, MT4-MMP was expressed in lipid rafts of HM-7 cells but not in LS174T cells. Overexpression of cav-1 in HM-7 cells down-regulate proliferation, viability, wound closure, adhesion to laminin, invasion, and development of filopodial and lamellipodial structures in a dose-dependent manner. Cav-1 positive HM-7 clones ceased to express MT4-MMP in their lipid rafts. Comparative proteomic analyses of lipid rafts from cav-1 positive and cav-1 negative cells demonstrated de novo expression of flotillin-1 only on the cells expressing cav-1. Xenografting control cells devoid of cav-1 in nude mice induced development of bigger tumors expressing higher levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen as compared to mice injected with cells expressing the highest cav-1 levels. We conclude that cav-1 orchestrates and reorganize several proteins in lipid rafts, activities directly associated with reduced tumorigenic and metastatic ability of colon cancer cells. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.