While emerging data suggest nucleotide oligomerization domain receptor 1 (NOD1), a cytoplasmic pattern recognition receptor, may play an important and complementary role in the immune response to bacterial infection, its role in cancer metastasis is entirely unknown. Hence, we sought to determine the effects of NOD1 on metastasis. NOD1 expression in paired human primary colon cancer, human and murine colon cancer cells were determined using immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting (WB). Clinical significance of NOD1 was assessed using TCGA survival data. A series of in vitro and in vivo functional assays, including adhesion, migration, and metastasis, was conducted to assess the effect of NOD1. C12-iE-DAP, a highly selective NOD1 ligand derived from gram-negative bacteria, was used to activate NOD1. ML130, a specific NOD1 inhibitor, was used to block C12-iE-DAP stimulation. Stable knockdown (KD) of NOD1 in human colon cancer cells (HT29) was constructed with shRNA lentiviral transduction and the functional assays were thus repeated. Lastly, the predominant signaling pathway of NOD1-activation was identified using WB and functional assays in the presence of specific kinase inhibitors. Our data demonstrate that NOD1 is highly expressed in human colorectal cancer (CRC) and human and murine CRC cell lines. Clinically, we demonstrate that this increased NOD1 expression negatively impacts survival in patients with CRC. Subsequently, we identify NOD1 activation by C12-iE-DAP augments CRC cell adhesion, migration and metastasis. These effects are predominantly mediated via the p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. This is the first study implicating NOD1 in cancer metastasis, and thus identifying this receptor as a putative therapeutic target.