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Cell Cycle. 2004 Apr;3(4):404-7. Epub 2004 Apr 1.

Determinants for Aurora-A activation and Aurora-B discrimination by TPX2.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, Meyerhofstrasse 1, Heidelberg, Germany.


The mitotic kinases Aurora-A and Aurora-B have similar amino-acid sequences but are differently localised and regulated during cell division. The basis for their interactions with different and specific regulators is unclear. Surprisingly, our recent structural studies indicate that TPX2 regulates Aurora-A activity by binding at a site that is conserved almost completely on Aurora-B. Here we investigate molecular determinants of TPX2-Aurora-A recognition. Using structure-based mutagenesis, we show that a single amino-acid difference on the surface of the kinase catalytic domain is key to the precision with which TPX2 discriminates between Aurora-A and Aurora-B. The conservation at this amino-acid position suggests that this discriminatory mechanism is likely to be conserved in higher eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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