Syndecan-2 is a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan whose function at the cell surface is unclear. In this study, we examined the function of syndecan-2 in colon cancer cell lines. In several colon cancer cell lines, syndecan-2 was highly expressed compared with normal cell lines. In contrast, syndecan-1 and -4 were decreased. Cell biological studies using the extracellular domain of recombinant syndecan-2 (2E) or spreading assay with syndecan-2 antibody-coated plates showed that syndecan-2 mediated adhesion and cytoskeletal organization of colon cancer cells. This interaction was critical for the proliferation of colon carcinoma cells. Blocking with 2E or antisense syndecan-2 cDNA induced G(0)/G(1) cell cycle arrest with concomitantly increased expression of p21, p27, and p53. Furthermore, blocking of syndecan-2 through antisense syndecan-2 cDNA significantly reduced tumorigenic activity in colon carcinoma cells. Therefore, increased syndecan-2 expression appears to be a critical for colon carcinoma cell behavior, and syndecan-2 regulates tumorigenic activity through regulation of adhesion and proliferation in colon carcinoma cells.