OBJECTIVES: Bladder cancer (BC) is a common malignancy worldwide. Signal peptidase complex 18 (SPC18) protein, which is encoded by the SEC11A gene, is one of the subunits of the signal peptidase complex and induces transforming growth factor-α secretion. In the present study, we analyzed the expression and function of SPC18 protein in human BC. METHODS: Expression of SPC18 was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. RNA interference was used to inhibit SEC11A expression in BC cell lines. For constitutive expression of the SEC11A gene, a SEC11A expression vector was transfected into BC cell lines. To examine cell viability, we performed 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Modified Boyden chamber assays were used to examine cell invasiveness. RESULTS: SPC18 was upregulated in 54% of 81 BC cases. SPC18 expression served as an independent prognostic classifier of patients with BC. SPC18-positive BC cases frequently expressed cytokeratin 5/6, a marker of basal-like BC. Cell growth and invasiveness were inhibited by SEC11A knockdown and enhanced by forced expression of SEC11A. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that SPC18 plays an important role in the progression of BC. Specific inhibitors of SPC18 may be promising anticancer drugs for patients with basal-like BC.