As B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) progresses, malignant cells extravasate and infiltrate lymphoid tissues. Several molecules, including gelatinase B/MMP-9, contribute to these processes. Although mainly a secreted protease, some MMP-9 is present at the B-CLL cell surface and the function, mode of anchoring, and interactions of this MMP-9 are unknown. Here we show that anti-MMP-9 antibodies immunoprecipitated a 190-kDa CD44v isoform and alpha4beta1 integrin from B-CLL cells, but not from normal B cells. Function-blocking antibodies to alpha4beta1 or CD44, or transfection with specific siRNAs, decreased cell-associated proMMP-9 and increased the secreted form. B-CLL cells attached to and bound proMMP-9 and active MMP-9, and this was inhibited by blocking the expression or function of alpha4beta1 or CD44. The MMP-9 hemopexin domain was critical in these interactions. alpha4beta1 and 190-kDa CD44v (but not CD44H) formed a complex at the cell surface, since they both coimmunoprecipitated with anti-alpha4, anti-beta1, or anti-CD44 antibodies. Immunofluorescence analyses confirmed that alpha4beta1 and CD44v colocalized with MMP-9. Binding of proMMP-9 inhibited B-CLL cell migration, and this required MMP-9 proteolytic activity. Thus, we have identified alpha4beta1 and CD44v as a novel proMMP-9 cell surface docking complex and show that cell-associated MMP-9 may regulate B-CLL cell migration and arrest.