Aurora B potentiates Mps1 activation to ensure rapid checkpoint establishment at the onset of mitosis

Nat Commun. 2011;2:316. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1319.


The mitotic checkpoint prevents mitotic exit until all chromosomes are attached to spindle microtubules. Aurora B kinase indirectly invokes this checkpoint by destabilizing incorrect attachments; however, a more direct role remains controversial. In contrast, activity of the kinase Mps1 is indispensible for the mitotic checkpoint. Here we show that Aurora B and Hec1 are needed for efficient Mps1 recruitment to unattached kinetochores, allowing rapid Mps1 activation at the onset of mitosis. Live monitoring of cyclin B degradation reveals that this is essential to establish the mitotic checkpoint quickly at the start of mitosis. Delayed Mps1 activation and checkpoint establishment upon Aurora B inhibition or Hec1 depletion are rescued by tethering Mps1 to kinetochores, demonstrating that Mps1 recruitment is the primary role of Aurora B and Hec1 in mitotic checkpoint signalling. These data demonstrate a direct role for Aurora B in initiating the mitotic checkpoint rapidly at the onset of mitosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells / cytology*
  • Cells / enzymology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Kinetochores / enzymology
  • Mitosis*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • AURKB protein, human
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • TTK protein, human