Recent studies have identified a class of small non-coding RNA molecules, named microRNA (miRNA), that is dysregulated in malignant brain glioblastoma. Substantial data have indicated that miRNA-16 (miR-16) plays a significant role in tumors of various origins. This miRNA has been linked to various aspects of carcinogenesis, including cell apoptosis and migration. However, the molecular functions of miR-16 in gliomagenesis are largely unknown. We have shown that the expression of miR-16 in human brain glioma tissues was lower than in non-cancerous brain tissues, and that the expression of miR-16 decreased with increasing degrees of malignancy. Our data suggest that the expression of miR-16 and nuclear factor (NF)-κB1 was negatively correlated with glioma levels. MicroRNA-16 decreased glioma malignancy by downregulating NF-κB1 and MMP9, and led to suppressed invasiveness of human glioma cell lines SHG44, U87, and U373. Our results also indicated that upregulation of miR-16 promoted apoptosis by suppressing BCL2 expression. Finally, the upregulation of miR-16 in a nude mice model of human glioma resulted in significant suppression of glioma growth and invasiveness. Taken together, our experiments have validated the important role of miR-16 as a tumor suppressor gene in glioma growth and invasiveness, and revealed a novel mechanism of miR-16-mediated regulation in glioma growth and invasiveness through inhibition of BCL2 and the NF-κB1/MMP-9 signaling pathway. Therefore, our experiments suggest the possible future use of miR-16 as a therapeutic target in gliomas.