Primary brain tumors (gliomas) have the unusual ability to diffusely infiltrate the normal brain thereby evading surgical treatment. Chlorotoxin is a scorpion toxin that specifically binds to the surface of glioma cells and impairs their ability to invade. Using a recombinant His-Cltx we isolated and identified the principal Cltx receptor on the surface of glioma cells as matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). MMP-2 is specifically upregulated in gliomas and related cancers, but is not normally expressed in brain. We demonstrate that Cltx specifically and selectively interacts with MMP-2 isoforms, but not with MMP-1, -3, and -9, which are also expressed in malignant glioma cells. Importantly, we show that the anti-invasive effect of Cltx on glioma cells can be explained by its interactions with MMP-2. Cltx exerts a dual effect on MMP-2: it inhibits the enzymatic activity of MMP-2 and causes a reduction in the surface expression of MMP-2. These findings suggest that Cltx is a specific MMP-2 inhibitor with significant therapeutic potential for gliomas and other diseases that invoke the activity of MMP-2.