Structural changes in the extracellular matrix are necessary for cell migration during tissue remodeling and tumor invasion. Specific cleavage of laminin-5 (Ln-5) by matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP2) was shown to induce migration of breast epithelial cells. MMP2 cleaved the Ln-5 gamma2 subunit at residue 587, exposing a putative cryptic promigratory site on Ln-5 that triggers cell motility. This altered form of Ln-5 is found in tumors and in tissues undergoing remodeling, but not in quiescent tissues. Cleavage of Ln-5 by MMP2 and the resulting activation of the Ln-5 cryptic site may provide new targets for modulation of tumor cell invasion and tissue remodeling.