The Aurora kinases comprise a family of evolutionary conserved serine/threonine kinases that have important functions in centrosome duplication, mitotic spindle assembly, chromosome condensation, chromosome biorientation on the spindle and chromosome segregation. Vertebrates have three Aurora kinases, Aurora-A, -B and -C, while invertebrates have only Aurora-A and -B and yeasts have a single Aurora kinase, Ipl1 in S. cerevisiae and Ark1 in S. pombe. Recently, the role of Aurora kinases in chromosome condensation has been defined; Aurora B plays a crucial role in the axial shortening of chromosomes during anaphase, presumably in order to prevent chromosome arms from becoming trapped within the cytokinetic plate.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank members of the Clarke lab for helpful discussions and Jan Ellenberg and Felipe Mora-Bermúdez for the images of human chromosomes. The work done in the Clarke lab related to this review was funded by NIH grants CA099033 (DJC) and CA095914 (DJC).
- Aurora B
- Chromosome condensation
- Topoisomerase II