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Mech Dev. 1999 Apr;82(1-2):95-108.

Stu-7/air-2 is a C. elegans aurora homologue essential for chromosome segregation during embryonic and post-embryonic development.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


We have isolated a new sterile uncoordinated C. elegans mutant, stu-7, which is defective in post-embryonic cell divisions in a regionally-specific fashion. The anterior of the worm is relatively unaffected whereas the mid-body and/or posterior are markedly thin, often resulting in worms having a central 'waist'. We have cloned stu-7 and found that it encodes a member of the recently expanding aurora sub-family of serine/threonine kinases. Elimination of maternal as well as zygotic stu-7 expression reveals that stu-7 is essential for mitosis from the first embryonic cell cycle onwards and is required for chromosome segregation though not for centrosome separation or for setting up a bipolar spindle. Multicopy expression of stu-7 also causes mitotic defects, suggesting that the level of this protein must be tightly controlled in order to maintain genetic stability during development.

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