SNAIL Transctiption factor in prostate cancer cells promotes neurite outgrowth

Gabrielle Edwards, Taaliah Campbell, Veronica Henderson, Alira Danaher, Daqing Wu, Rekha Srinivasan, Khosrow Rezvani, Valerie A. Odero-Marah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Neurite outgrowth involves reciprocal signaling interactions between tumor cells and nerves where invading tumor cells have acquired the ability to respond to pro-invasive signals within the nerve environment. Neurite outgrowth could serve as a mechanism leading to invasion of cancer cells into the nerve sheath and subsequent metastasis. Snail transcription factor can promote migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells. We hypothesized that prostate cancer cell interaction with nerve cells will be mediated by Snail expression within prostate cancer cells. For this study we utilized various prostate cancer cell lines: C4-2 non-silencing (NS, control); C4-2 Snail shRNA, (stable Snail knockdown); LNCaP Neo (empty vector control) and LNCaP Snail (stably over-expressing Snail). Cancer cell adhesion and migration towards nerve cells (snF96.2 or NS20Y) was examined by co-culture assays. Conditioned media (CM) collected from C4-2 cells was cultured with nerve cells (PC-12 or NS20Y) for 48 h followed by qualitative or quantitative neurite outgrowth assay. Our results showed that cancer cells expressing high levels of Snail (LNCaP Snail/C4-2 NS) displayed significantly higher migration adherence to nerve cells, compared to cells with lower levels of Snail (LNCaP Neo/C4-2 Snail shRNA). Additionally, LNCaP Snail or C4-2 NS (Snail-high) CM led to a higher neurite outgrowth compared to the LNCaP Neo or C4-2 Snail shRNA (Snail-low). In conclusion, Snail promotes migration and adhesion to nerve cells, as well as neurite outgrowth via secretion of soluble factors. Therefore, targeting cancer cell interaction with nerves may contribute to halting prostate cancer progression/metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Cancer cell
  • Nerve
  • Neurite
  • Neurite outgrowth
  • Prostate cancer
  • Snail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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