Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive cancers worldwide. Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of HCC is particularly important. Here, we demonstrated the expression pattern, clinical significance, and function of Karyopherin α2 (KPNA2) in HCC. The expression of KPNA2 was upregulated in tumor tissue and negatively associated with the survival time, and a significant correlation between KPNA2 expression and aggressive clinical characteristics was established. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that knockdown of KPNA2 reduced migration and proliferation capacities of HCC cells, while over-expression of KPNA2 increased these malignant characteristics. The analysis of the Cancer Genome Atlas cohorts also reveals that high-KPNA2 expression is associated with poor outcome in multiple cancer types. In addition, gene sets enrichment analysis exhibited cell cycle and DNA replication as the top altered pathways in the high-KPNA2 expression group in HCC and other two cancer types. Overall, this study identified KPNA2 as a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in HCC and other neoplasms, probably by regulating cell cycle and DNA replication.