Although plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is known to stimulate cell migration, little is known about underlying mechanisms. We show that both active and inactive (e.g. cleaved) PAI-1 can activate the Jak/Stat signaling system and stimulate cell migration in chemotaxis, haptotaxis, chemokinesis, and wound healing assays. Moreover, antibodies to the LDL receptor-related protein (LRP) and an LRP antagonist (RAP) blocked these motogenic effects of PAI-1, while a PAI-1 mutant that did not bind to LRP failed to activate the Jak/Stat signaling pathway or to stimulate cell migration. PAI-1 had no chemotactic effect on LRP-deficient cells. These results indicate that LRP is a signaling molecule, that it mediates the migration-promoting activity of PAI-1, and that this activity does not require intact, biologically active PAI-1. Activation of this LRP-dependent signaling pathway by PAI-1 may begin to explain how the inhibitor stimulates cell migration in a variety of normal and pathological processes.