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Cell Cycle. 2006 Feb;5(3):296-303. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

A functional interplay between Aurora-A, Plk1 and TPX2 at spindle poles: Plk1 controls centrosomal localization of Aurora-A and TPX2 spindle association.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, CNR, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Aurora-A and Plk1 are centrosomal kinases involved in centrosome maturation and spindle assembly. The microtubule-binding protein TPX2 interacts with, and activates, Aurora-A. Here we have used RNA interference-mediated inactivation to investigate whether Aurora-A, Plk1 and TPX2 act independently or are part of one signaling cascade in spindle formation in mammalian cells. We have identified both specific, and over- lapping, roles of each single regulator in centrosome maturation and spindle formation: (1) Aurora-A and TPX2 are required for centriole cohesion and spindle bipolarity; (2) TPX2, besides its known role in microtubule organization, is also involved in centrosome maturation; (3) finally, Plk1 controls the localization of Aurora-A to centrosomes, as well as TPX2 recruitment to microtubules. Based on these results therefore a hierarchical functional relation between Plk1 and the Aurora-A/TPX2 pathway emerges.

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