We investigated the role of Nek2, a member of the serine-threonine kinase family, in the tumorigenic growth of breast carcinoma. Increased expression of Nek2 was observed in all breast carcinoma cell lines examined (BT20, BT474, Hs578T, MCF7, MDA-MB-231, T47D, and ZR-75-1) by immunoblotting. By treatment with Nek2 short interfering RNA (siRNA), expression of Nek2 was clearly decreased in both estrogen receptor (ER)-positive (MCF7) and ER-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast carcinoma cell lines. Cell growth, colony formation in soft agar, and in vitro invasiveness of these cell lines were substantially suppressed by Nek2 siRNA treatment. In a xenograft nude mouse model with subcutaneous implantation of MCF7 or MDA-MB-231, subcutaneous injection of Nek2 siRNA around the tumor nodules resulted in a reduction of tumor size compared with those of control siRNA injection. Taken together, Nek2 appears to play a pivotal role in tumorigenic growth of breast carcinoma cells, and could be a useful therapeutic molecular target for the treatment of breast carcinoma both in ER-positive and ER-negative cases.