DDX3, a DEAD box protein family member, appears to promote the progression of some cancers, which may partly result from its impedance of death receptor-mediated apoptosis. We found that another mechanism by which DDX3 may aid cancer progression is by promoting increased levels of the transcription factor Snail. Snail represses expression of cellular adhesion proteins, leading to increased cell migration and metastasis of many types of cancer. Knockdown of DDX3 levels by shRNA reduced basal levels of Snail in HeLa and MCF-7 cells, and this was associated with reduced cell proliferation and migration. Snail protein and mRNA levels were increased by treatment with the HDAC inhibitors sodium butyrate or trichostatin A, and these increases were attenuated in cells with DDX3 knocked down. Treatment of cells with camptothecin was discovered to increase Snail protein levels, and this increase was diminished in cells with DDX3 knocked down. Analysis of 31 patient glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) samples revealed a significant correlation between the levels of DDX3 and Snail. Thus, DDX3 is required for basal Snail expression and increases in Snail induced by HDAC inhibitors or camptothecin, indicating that this action of DDX3 may contribute to its promotion of the progression of some cancers. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.