Targeting Aurora-2 kinase in cancer

Mol Cancer Ther. 2003 Jun;2(6):589-95.


Aurora-2 kinase has been shown to contribute to oncogenic transformation and is frequently overexpressed and amplified in many human tumor types. Aurora-2 belongs to a small family of mitotic serine/threonine kinases that regulate centrosome maturation, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. The mechanism behind the transforming activity of aurora-2 is not fully understood; however, the role of aurora-2 in regulating the centrosome cycle is likely responsible for its ability to transform cells. Aurora-2 overexpression has been correlated with centrosome amplification, which can be a driving cause of genomic instability in tumor cells. In addition, recent work has demonstrated that aurora-2 plays an active function in promoting entry into mitosis by regulating local translation of centrosomal stored mRNA, such as cyclin B1. These recent findings implicate aurora-2 as an important regulator of both genomic integrity and cell cycle progression in cancer cells and suggest that aurora-2 is an attractive target for anticancer drug development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Centrosome / ultrastructure
  • Cyclin B / metabolism
  • Cyclin B1
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Mitosis
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • CCNB1 protein, human
  • Cyclin B
  • Cyclin B1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases