Aurora B kinase inhibition in mitosis: strategies for optimising the use of aurora kinase inhibitors such as AT9283

Cell Cycle. 2009 Jun 15;8(12):1921-9. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.12.8741. Epub 2009 Jun 15.


Aurora kinases play a key role in regulating mitotic division and are attractive oncology targets. AT9283, a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor with potent activity against Aurora A and B kinases, inhibited growth and survival of multiple solid tumor cell lines and was efficacious in mouse xenograft models. AT9283-treatment resulted in endoreduplication and ablation of serine-10 histone H3 phosphorylation in both cells and tumor samples, confirming that in these models it acts as an Aurora B kinase inhibitor. In vitro studies demonstrated that exposure to AT9283 for one complete cell cycle committed an entire population of p53 checkpoint-compromised cells (HCT116) to multinucleation and death whereas treatment of p53 checkpoint-competent cells (HMEC, A549) for a similar length of time led to a reversible arrest of cells with 4N DNA. Further studies in synchronized cell populations suggested that exposure to AT9283 during mitosis was critical for optimal cytotoxicity. We therefore investigated ways in which these properties might be exploited to optimize the efficacy and therapeutic index of Aurora kinase inhibitors for p53 checkpoint compromised tumors in vivo. Combining Aurora B kinase inhibition with paclitaxel, which arrests cells in mitosis, in a xenograft model resulted in promising efficacy without additional toxicity. These findings have implications for optimizing the efficacy of Aurora kinase inhibitors in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Aurora Kinase A
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Benzimidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Collagen Type XI / drug effects
  • Collagen Type XI / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mimosine / pharmacology
  • Mitosis / drug effects*
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / drug effects
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / pharmacology
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • 1-cyclopropyl-3-(3-(5-morpholin-4-ylmethyl-1H-benzoimidazol-2-yl)-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)urea
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzimidazoles
  • COL11A2 protein, human
  • Collagen Type XI
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Mimosine
  • Urea
  • AURKB protein, human
  • Aurka protein, mouse
  • Aurkb protein, mouse
  • Aurora Kinase A
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Paclitaxel