Metastasis of liver cancer is closely linked to tumor microenvironment, in which chemokines and their receptors act in an important role. The CXCR3, the receptor of chemokine CXCL9, belongs to a superfamily of rhodopsin-like seven transmembrane GPCRs and CXCR subfamily. In HCC tissues, CXCR3 was frequently upregulated and correlated with tumor size, tumor differentiation, portal invasion and metastasis. In the study, CXCR3-A isoform that was bound by CXCL9 was found to cause significant change of ERK1/2 phosphorylation level in the MAPK signaling pathway, consequently upregulating the MMP2 and MMP9 expression and promoting invasion and metastasis of CD133+ liver cancer cells. Also, CXCR3-A suppressed the adhesion ability of CD133+ liver cancer cells that stimulated by CXCL9 for 24h. These findings suggest that CXCR3 and its ligand CXCL9 could promote the metastasis of liver cancer cells and might be a potential target for the intervention of liver cancer metastasis.