The centrosome-associated Aurora/Ipl-like kinase family

Curr Top Dev Biol. 2000;49:331-42. doi: 10.1016/s0070-2153(99)49016-7.


Because of the well-known role of the centrosome and mitotic apparatus in genome partitioning in normal cells, defects in pathways essential for mitotic regulation are likely implicated in the cascade of events leading to aneuploidy and neoplasia. Exogenous overexpression of AIM-1, for example, produces multinuclearity in human cells and increased ploidy as well as aneuploidy (Tatsuka et al., 1998). Overexpression in colorectal tumor cell lines is thought to have a causal relationship with multinuclearity and increased ploidy. Cytokinesis error caused by AIM-1 overexpression is a major factor in the predisposition to cancer. As previously mentioned, the involvement of BTAK/aur2/AIK in centrosome amplification and its oncogenic activity are compelling. Aur2 has also been implicated in oncogenesis, and defects in kinetochore function leading to chromosome instability in human tumors should not be minimized (Farruggio et al., 1999). Further studies are needed to provide a clearer definition of how these kinetic proteins are linked and regulated in normal mitosis and cancer. Thus, Boveri appears to have been correct in formulating his early hypothesis that a defective mitotic apparatus and centrosome number were central and causative in chromosome missegregation and cancer. One hundred years later, at the onset of a new millennium and with light-years of advanced technology in our favor, we are just now beginning to piece together the enzymes, substrates, and signaling pathways that support and explain his long-ignored but prophetic claim.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Centrosome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases