Nod1, a cytosolic protein that senses meso-diaminopimelic acid-containing ligands derived from peptidoglycan, plays a role in host responses to invasive bacteria. Here we describe a function for Nod1, whereby it controls tumor formation. Cell lines derived from the human breast cancer epithelial cell line MCF-7 were used in a severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) mouse xenograft model to characterize a pathway linking Nod1 to the growth of estrogen-sensitive tumors. In MCF-7 cells, the absence of Nod1 correlates with tumor growth, an increased sensitivity to estrogen-induced cell proliferation, and a failure to undergo Nod1-dependent apoptosis. Conversely, overexpression of Nod1 in MCF-7 cells results in inhibition of estrogen-dependent tumor growth and reduction of estrogen-induced proliferative responses in vitro.