Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) converting enzyme (TACE) is a key enzyme involved in the proteolytic shedding of the ectodomain of several membrane-bound growth factors, cytokines and receptors. Here, we constructed a multiple short hairpin RNA (shRNA) expression vector containing four shRNAs against TACE. We found that in HeLa cells our multiple shRNAs vector produced a higher level of TACE knockdown than any single shRNA vector containing only one TACE shRNA. Silencing TACE expression in HeLa cells decreased their malignancy by decreasing the proliferation, adhesion and migration, as well as inducing apoptosis in these cells. Furthermore, our data suggest that the effects of TACE on the malignancy of HeLa cells may be mediated via activation of the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) signaling pathway. Our findings suggest that using a combination of shRNAs within one vector to silence the expression of TACE might be a potential therapeutic strategy for tumors.