OBJECTIVES: There are adhesion molecules, angiogenetic factors, and proteolytic enzymes such as E-cadherin and MT1-MMP, which are involved in carcinogenesis, cancer invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study was to determine the MT1-MMP and E-cadherin mRNA expression in cervical cancer, And we investigated the relationship between their expression and questioned whether their expression is related to cervical cancer stages and other prognostic factors. METHODS: The cervical and cervical cancer tissues were taken from the patients; healthy women(n=14), and the patients with cervical cancer(n=35). The E-cadherin and MT1-MMP mRNA expression were examined by quantitative competitive PCR after polymerase chain reaction amplification of reverse transcriptase copies of RNA transcripts(RT-PCR). RESULTS: E-cadherin mRNA expression in cervical cancer was not lower than that in normal cervix(p>0.05). MT1-MMP mRNA expression in cervical cancer was higher than that of normal cervix(p<0.05). MT1-MMP mRNA expression was related to E-cadherin mRNA expression(p<0.05) and its expression was correlated with the cervical cancer stage and SCC-Ag(p<0.05). CONCLUSION: These results suggested that MT1-MMP mRNA expression is associated with the cervical carcinogenesis and metastasis of cervical cancer and the activity of proteolytic enzyme in cervical cancer is inversely related to that of intercellular adhesion molecule.