Zinc-finger protein 750 (ZNF750) encodes a putative C2H2 zinc finger protein and is typically mutated or deleted in squamous cell carcinoma. The role of ZNF750 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of ZNF750 overexpression in CAL-27 cells. Cell viability, and the expression of genes associated with proliferation, differentiation and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition were investigated in CAL-27 cells following ZNF750 overexpression, using Cell Counting kit-8, reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis, respectively. In addition, scratch wound, invasion and migration assays were performed. Cell viability, matrix metalloproteinase 28 expression, cyclin B1 expression and mesenchymal marker neural cadherin expression were decreased following ZNF750 overexpression compared with the control groups. ZNF750 overexpression induced the differentiation-associated genes late cornified envelope 3A and small proline-rich protein 1A and upregulated the expression of late epidermal differentiation factor Kruppel-like factor 4. Overexpression of ZNF750 in CAL-27 cells resulted in inhibition of cell invasion and migration. Taken together, these data suggest that ZNF750 may inhibit the metastasis of OSCC.