The role of Aurora-A kinase in the Golgi-dependent control of mitotic entry

Bioarchitecture. 2011 Mar;1(2):61-65. doi: 10.4161/bioa.1.2.15329.


During mitosis, the Golgi complex undergoes a multi-step fragmentation process that is instrumental to its correct partitioning into the daughter cells. To prepare for this segregation, the Golgi ribbon is initially separated into individual stacks during the G2 phase of the cell cycle. Then, at the onset of mitosis, these individual stacks are further disassembled into dispersed fragments. Inhibition of this Golgi fragmentation step results in a block or delay of G2/M transition, depending on the experimental approach. Thus, correct segregation of the Golgi complex appears to be monitored by a 'Golgi mitotic checkpoint'. Using a microinjection-based approach, we recently identified the first target of the Golgi checkpoint, whereby a block of this Golgi fragmentation impairs recruitment of the mitotic kinase Aurora-A to, and its activation at, the centrosomes. Overexpression of Aurora-A can override this cell cycle block, indicating that Aurora-A is a major effector of the Golgi checkpoint. We have also shown that this block of Aurora-A recruitment to the centrosomes is not mediated by the known mechanisms of regulation of Aurora-A function. Here we discuss our findings in relation to the known functions of Aurora-A.