Aurora kinases are known to play a key role in maintaining mitotic fidelity, and overexpression of aurora kinases has been noted in various tumors. Overexpression of aurora kinase activity is thought to promote cancer development through a loss of centrosome or chromosome number integrity. Here we observed augmentation of G12V-mutated HRAS-induced neoplastic transformation in BALB/c 3T3 A31-1-1 cells transfected with Aurora-A. Aurora-A-short hairpin RNA (shRNA) experiments showed that the expression level of Aurora-A determines susceptibility to transformation. Aurora-A gene amplification was noted in human patients with tongue or gingival squamous carcinoma (4/11). Amplification was observed even in pathologically normal epithelial tissue taken at sites distant from the tumors in two patients with tongue cancer. However, overexpression of Aurora-A mRNA was observed only within the tumors of all patients examined (11/11). Our data indicate that Aurora-A gene amplification and overexpression play a role in human carcinogenesis, largely due to the effect of Aurora-A on oncogenic cell growth, rather than a loss of maintenance of centrosomal or chromosomal integrity.