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Mol Biol Cell. 2002 Apr;13(4):1099-108.

Probing the dynamics and functions of aurora B kinase in living cells during mitosis and cytokinesis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Aurora B is a protein kinase and a chromosomal passenger protein that undergoes dynamic redistribution during mitosis. We have probed the mechanism that regulates its localization with cells expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged wild-type or mutant aurora B. Aurora B was found at centromeres at prophase and persisted until approximately 0.5 min after anaphase onset, when it redistributed to the spindle midzone and became concentrated at the equator along midzone microtubules. Depolymerization of microtubules inhibited the dissociation of aurora B from centromeres at early anaphase and caused the dispersion of aurora B from the spindle midzone at late anaphase; however, centromeric association during prometaphase was unaffected. Inhibition of CDK1 deactivation similarly caused aurora B to remain associated with centromeres during anaphase. In contrast, inhibition of the kinase activity of aurora B appeared to have no effect on its interactions with centromeres or initial relocation onto midzone microtubules. Instead, kinase-inactive aurora B caused abnormal mitosis and deactivation of the spindle checkpoint. In addition, midzone microtubule bundles became destabilized and aurora B dispersed from the equator. Our results suggest that microtubules, CDK1, and the kinase activity each play a distinct role in the dynamics and functions of aurora B in dividing cells.

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