Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a critical role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Here, we investigate the effect of fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) on the expression of MMP-9 in ENU1564, an ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced rat mammary adenocarcinoma cell line. We observed that FGF-1 induces a dose-dependent increase in MMP-9 mRNA, protein, and activity in ENU1564 cells. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism of MMP-9 regulation by FGF-1, we investigated the role of components of PI3K-Akt and MEK1/2-ERK signaling pathways in our system since NF-κB and AP-1 transcription factor binding sites have been characterized in the upstream region of the MMP-9 gene. We demonstrated that FGF-1 increases Akt phosphorylation, triggers nuclear translocation of NF-κBp65, and enhances degradation of cytoplasmic IκBα. Pretreatment of cells with LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, significantly inhibited MMP-9 protein expression in FGF-1-treated cells. Conversely, our data show that FGF-1 increases ERK phosphorylation in ENU1564 cells, increases c-jun and c-fos mRNA expression in a time-dependent manner, and triggers nuclear translocation of c-jun. Pretreatment of cells with PD98059, a MEK1/2 inhibitor significantly inhibited MMP-9 protein expression in FGF-1 treated cells. Finally, we observed increased DNA binding of NF-κB and AP-1 in FGF-1-treated cells and that mutation of either NF-κB or AP-1 response elements prevented MMP-9 promoter activation by FGF-1. Taken together, these results demonstrated that FGF-1-induced MMP-9 expression in ENU1564 cells is associated with increasing DNA binding activities of NF-κB and AP-1 and involve activation of a dual signaling pathway, PI3K-Akt and MEK1/2-ERK. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.