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BMB Rep. 2014 Nov;47(11):631-6.

Aurora-A kinase-inactive mutants disrupt the interaction with Ajuba and cause defects in mitotic spindle formation and G2/M phase arrest in HeLa cells.

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State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


Aurora-A is a centrosome-localized serine/threonine kinase that is overexpressed in multiple human cancers. We previously reported an intramolecular inhibitory regulation of Aurora-A between its N-terminal regulatory domain (Nt, amino acids [aa] 1-128) and the C-terminal catalytic domain (Cd, aa 129-403). Here, we demonstrate that although both Aurora-A mutants (AurA-K250G and AurA-D294G/Y295G) lacked interactions between the Nt and Cd, they also failed to interact with Ajuba, an essential activator of Aurora-A, leading to loss of kinase activity. Additionally, overexpression of either of the mutants resulted in centrosome amplification and mitotic spindle formation defects. Both mutants were also able to cause G2/M arrest and apoptosis. These results indicate that both K250 and D294/Y295 are critical for direct interaction between Aurora-A and Ajuba and the function of the Aurora-A complex in cell cycle progression.

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