Aurora kinases, which have been implicated in several vital events in mitosis, represent a protein kinase family highly conserved during evolution. The activity of Aurora kinases is delicately regulated, mainly by phosphorylation and degradation. Deregulation of Aurora kinase activity can result in mitotic abnormality and genetic instability, leading to defects in centrosome function, spindle assembly, chromosome alignment, and cytokinesis. Both the expression level and the kinase activity of Aurora kinases are found to be up-regulated in many human cancers, indicating that these kinases might serve as useful targets for the development of anticancer drugs. This review focuses on recent progress on the roles of Aurora kinases in mitosis and tumorigenesis.