Podoplanin is a type-I transmembrane sialomucin-like protein, which is expressed in a wide range of cell types and is involved in platelet aggregation and tumor metastasis. Here, we investigated the function, regulation, and expression of podoplanin in osteosarcoma. Podoplanin expression was observed in three osteosarcoma cell lines (MG-63, HOS, and U-2 OS) with platelet aggregation-inducing ability, which was blocked by podoplanin small-interfering RNA or a neutralizing antibody. Overexpression of podoplanin in nonmetastatic Dunn osteosarcoma cells promoted cell migration without attenuating cell proliferation. Both podoplanin and TGF-beta 1 were up-regulated by c-Fos induction in MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells, and were highly expressed in c-Fos transgenic mouse osteosarcomas and c-Fos-transformed osteosarcoma cell lines. Immunohistochemistry of human osteosarcoma tissue microarrays (n = 133) showed staining of tumor cells embedded in an excess of irregular neoplastic bone matrix in 100% of tumors undergoing so-called "normalization/maturation." Podoplanin was also expressed in osteosarcoma subtypes, with 65% of osteoblastic, 100% of chondroblastic, and 79% of fibroblastic tumors. CD44 and pERM immunohistochemistry showed coexpression with podoplanin in both mouse and human osteosarcoma. Podoplanin expression was significantly higher in metastatic Osteosarcomas n = 6) than in primary osteosarcomas = 10). Our data suggest that podoplanin, which is not expressed in normal osteoblasts but in osteocytes, is aberrantly expressed in transformed osteoblasts and in osteosarcoma, and is under AP-1 transcriptional control. Thus podoplanin is a candidate molecule for therapeutic targeting.