Mounting evidence indicates that circular RNAs modulate the initiation of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). However, their specific roles in the malignancy of ccRCC is understudied. Here, we present a novel circular RNA, circDHX33, that is up-regulated in ccRCC cell lines and tissues. Upregulated circDHX33 in ccRCC patients significantly correlates with advanced TNM stage and metastasis. Suppressing circDHX33 expression inhibits the proliferation and invasion of cultured cells, and suppresses tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistically, we show that circDHX33 promotes ccRCC progression by sponging miR-489-3p and modulating MEK1 expression. In conclusion, our findings suggest that circDHX33 plays a role in promoting ccRCC via the miR-489-3p/MEK1 axis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of ccRCC patients