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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 15;101(24):8975-80. Epub 2004 Jun 3.

Suppression of p160ROCK bypasses cell cycle arrest after Aurora-A/STK15 depletion.

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.


Alterations in the expression and activity of the centrosomal kinase, Aurora-A/serine/threonine kinase 15 (STK15), affect genomic stability, disrupt the fidelity of centrosome duplication, and induce cellular transformation. Here, we provide evidence that p160ROCK, a Rho-associate serine/threonine kinase, associates with Aurora-A in a protein complex with other STK15-associated factors. Suppression of Aurora-A by small interfering RNA in HeLa cells blocks the ability of centrosomes to organize normal mitotic spindles, induces G(2)/M cell cycle arrest, and promotes accumulation of tetraploid cells. In many cases, one outcome of such abnormalities is apoptosis. Introduction of a second genetic lesion, suppression of p160ROCK by RNA interference, can rescue abnormal mitotic spindle formation, release the G(2)/M cell cycle arrest, and alleviate apoptosis, leading to a greater accumulation of aneuploid cells. These results suggest that Aurora-A and p160ROCK act in a common genetic pathway that promotes and monitors progression through G(2)/M.

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