Transforming growth factor-β1-stimulated clone 22 (TSC-22) encodes a leucine zipper-containing protein that is highly conserved. During mouse embryogenesis, TSC-22 is expressed at the site of epithelial–mesenchymal interaction. Here, we isolated Xenopus laevis TSC-22 (XTSC-22) and analyzed its function in early development. XTSC-22 mRNA was first detected in the ectoderm of late blastulae. Translational knockdown using XTSC-22 antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (XTSC-22-MO) caused a severe delay in blastopore closure in gastrulating embryos. This was not due to mesoderm induction or convergent-extension, as confirmed by whole-mount in situ hybridization and animal cap assay. Cell lineage tracing revealed that migration of ectoderm cells toward blastopore was disrupted in XTSC-22-depleted embryos, and these embryos had a marked increase in the number of dividing cells. In contrast, cell division was suppressed in XTSC-22 mRNA-injected embryos. Co-injection of XTSC-22-MO and mRNA encoding p27Xic1, which inhibits cell cycle promotion by binding cyclin/Cdk complexes, reversed aberrant cell division. This was accompanied by rescue of the delay in blastopore closure and cell migration. These results indicate that XTSC-22 is required for cell movement during gastrulation though cell cycle regulation.