Aurora-A kinase: a novel target both for cellular immunotherapy and molecular target therapy against human leukemia

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2009 Dec;13(12):1399-410. doi: 10.1517/14728220903307483.


Background: Although cellular immunotherapy still remains in its infancy, it is one of the important treatment options against cancer. The marked improvement of its clinical efficacy requires a 'better' target antigen, which is well recognized by cancer-cell-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We have recently demonstrated the potential of Aurora-A kinase (Aurora-A) as such a 'better' target for cellular immunotherapy against human leukemia. Aurora-A is a member of the serine/threonine kinase family that properly regulates the cell division process, and has recently been implicated in tumorigenesis. On the other hand, small-molecule inhibitors targeting Aurora-A have recently been developed and preliminary but promising observations from Phase I clinical trials have been reported. These facts highlight the attractiveness of Aurora-A as an important target of comprehensive cancer therapies.

Objective/methods: In this review, we cover Aurora-A in the areas of immunotherapy and small-molecule inhibitor therapy against cancers.

Results/conclusions: Aurora-A kinase is an attractive molecule not only as a target for small-molecule inhibitors, but also as a potential target for immunotherapy against cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Leukemia / enzymology*
  • Leukemia / immunology
  • Leukemia / therapy*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Subunit / therapeutic use


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Subunit
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases