Aurora kinases play pivotal role in mitosis. Aurora kinase A controls centrosome duplication, spindle pole integrity as well as bipolar spindle formation. Aurora kinase B is part of the chromosome passenger complex (CPC) and through its co-factors, drives chromosome congression, bidirectional tension on kinetochores and spindle checkpoint signaling, as well as cytokinesis completion. Both CPC and Aurora kinases are exclusively expressed during mitosis and are up regulated in many tumors. Their overexpression correlates with the level of genomic instability within tumors and these proteins are therefore proposed as potential targets for cancer therapy. This review describes the interplay between Aurora kinases in mitosis and the different strategies that have been developed towards their targeting.
Keywords: Aurora kinase, Survivin, Borealin, INCENP, passenger proteins, cancer therapy, mitosis, kinase inhibitors, Chromosome passenger complex, spindle
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