Polo and Aurora kinases: lessons derived from chemical biology

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Feb;20(1):77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2007.11.008. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


During the cell division cycle, mitotic entry, spindle assembly, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis must all be carefully coordinated to ensure that the two daughter cells inherit all the genetic material required for further growth and development. Central to this coordination are several protein kinases including Aurora A, Aurora B, and the Polo-like kinase, Plk1. A number of small-molecule Aurora and Plk1 inhibitors have been developed because these kinases are seen as attractive anticancer drug targets. These inhibitors are now being widely used as chemical biology tools to understand how these kinases ensure faithful genome transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Segregation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mitosis / drug effects*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • AURKB protein, human
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • polo-like kinase 1