Aurora B is regulated by acetylation/deacetylation during mitosis in prostate cancer cells

FASEB J. 2012 Oct;26(10):4057-67. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-206656. Epub 2012 Jul 2.


Protein acetylation has been implicated in playing an important role during mitotic progression. Aurora B kinase is known to play a critical role in mitosis. However, whether Aurora B is regulated by acetylation is not known. Using IP with an anti-acetyl lysine antibody, we identified Aurora B as an acetylated protein in PC3 prostate cancer cells. Knockdown of HDAC3 or inhibiting HDAC3 deacetylase activity led to a significant increase (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively) in Aurora B acetylation as compared to siLuc or vehicle-treated controls. Increased Aurora B acetylation is correlated with a 30% reduction in Aurora B kinase activity in vitro and resulted in significant defects in Aurora B-dependent mitotic processes, including kinetochore-microtubule attachment and chromosome congression. Furthermore, Aurora B transiently interacts with HDAC3 at the kinetochore-microtubule interface of congressing chromosomes during prometaphase. This window of interaction corresponded with a transient but significant reduction (P=0.02) in Aurora B acetylation during early mitosis. Together, these results indicate that Aurora B is more active in its deacetylated state and further suggest a new mechanism by which dynamic acetylation/deacetylation acts as a rheostat to fine-tune Aurora B activity during mitotic progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Kinetochores / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • AURKB protein, human
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • histone deacetylase 3