Targeted Inhibition of Snail Activity in Breast Cancer Cells by Using a CoIII-Ebox Conjugate

Luke F. Vistain, Natsuho Yamamoto, Richa Rathore, Peter Cha, Thomas J. Meade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The transition from a non-invasive to an invasive phenotype is an essential step in tumor metastasis. The Snail family of transcription factors (TFs) is known to play a significant role in this transition. These TFs are zinc fingers that bind to the CAGGTG Ebox consensus sequence. CoIII-Ebox is a cobalt(III) complex attached to an Ebox oligonucleotide that confers specificity towards Snail TFs. CoIII-Ebox has been shown to inhibit Snail-mediated embryonic neural crest development in Xenopus laevis, but its efficacy in inhibiting Snail-induced cancer cell invasiveness has not been explored. Here, we describe the efficacy of CoIII-Ebox in inhibiting the invasive aspects of heregulin-β1(HRG)-treated breast cancer cells. CoIII-Ebox was found to inhibit the capacity of Snail to repress target genes after HRG induction. Snail inhibition by CoIII-Ebox reduced the invasive propensity of cells in 2D and 3D, thereby demonstrating promise in inhibiting metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2065-2072
Number of pages8
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Snail
  • cancer
  • cobalt
  • metastasis
  • transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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