Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) controls matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity through 1:1 stochiometric binding. Human TIMP-1 fused to a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor (TIMP-1-GPI) shifts the activity of TIMP-1 from the extracellular matrix to the cell surface. TIMP-1-GPI treated renal cell carcinoma cells (RCC) show increased apoptosis and reduced proliferation. Transcriptomic profiling and regulatory pathway mapping were used to identify potential mechanisms driving these effects. Significant changes in inhibitor of DNA binding (IDs), TGF-1/SMAD and BMP pathways resulted from TIMP-1-GPI treatment. These events were linked to reduced TGF-1 signaling mediated by inhibition of proteolytic processing of latent TGF-1 by TIMP-1-GPI.