The p37 protein at the surface of Mycoplasma hyorhinis cells forms part of a high-affinity transport system and has been found associated with animal and human cancers. Here we show in NIH3T3 fibroblasts, p37 rapidly induces the expression of genes implicated in inflammation and cancer progression. This gene activation was principally via the Tlr4 receptor. Activity was lost from p37 when the C-terminal 20 amino acids were removed or the four amino acids specific for the hydrogen bonding of thiamine pyrophosphate had been replaced by valine. Blocking the IL6 receptor or inhibiting STAT3 signalling resulted in increased p37-induced gene expression. Since cancer associated fibroblasts support growth, invasion and metastasis via their ability to regulate tumour-related inflammation, the rapid induction in fibroblasts of pro-inflammatory genes by p37 might be expected to influence cancer development.