Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 80% of all lung cancers. Identifying key molecular targets related to the initiation, development, and metastasis of lung cancer is important for its diagnosis and target therapy. The ADAMTS families of multidomain extracellular protease enzymes have been reported to be involved in many physiological processes. In this study, we found that ADAMTS1 was highly expressed in NSCLC tissues, which promoted cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of NSCLC cells. In the NSCLC tumor metastasis model involving nude mice, overexpression of ADAMTS1 promoted EMT and lung metastasis of tumor cells. Moreover, ADAMTS1 positively regulated TGF-β expression, and TGF-β was highly expressed in NSCLC tumor tissues. si-TGF-β or inhibition of TGF-β expression through the short peptide KTFR on ADAMTS1 protein could reverse the oncogenic effects of ADAMTS1 on lung cancer cells. Taken together, ADAMTS1 functioned as an oncogene in NSCLC cells by promoting TGF-β expression, indicating that ADAMTS1 has important regulatory roles in the progression of NSCLC.