Tissue factor (TF), the cell-surface receptor for coagulation factor VIIa, supports metastasis. Equally important for this process are (a) interactions of the TF cytoplasmic domain, which binds the mobility-enhancing actin-binding protein 280, and (b) the formation of a proteolytically active TF-VIIa complex on the tumor cell surface. In primary bladder carcinoma cells, we find that this complex localizes to the invasive edge, in proximity to tumor-infiltrating vessels that stain intensely for TF pathway inhibitor (TFPI-1), the major inhibitor of the protease activity of the complex. In culture, binding of VIIa to TF-expressing tumor cells is sufficient to allow cell adhesion, migration, and intracellular signaling on immobilized TFPI-1. Immobilized heparin, a mimic for extracellular matrix-associated proteoglycans, binds physiological concentrations of TFPI-1 in a conformation that supports TF-VIIa-dependent cell adhesion. Consistent with a functional role of TFPI-1 in complex extracellular matrices, we show that TF cooperates with integrin-mediated adhesion and migration on composite matrices that contain ligands for both integrins and the TF-VIIa complex. This study thus provides evidence for a novel mechanism of protease-supported migration that is independent of proteolytic matrix degradation but rather involves protease-dependent bridging of TF's extracellular domain to an ECM-associated inhibitor.