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Direct association with inner centromere protein (INCENP) activates the novel chromosomal passenger protein, Aurora-C.

Li X., Sakashita G., Matsuzaki H., Sugimoto K., Kimura K., Hanaoka F., Taniguchi H., Furukawa K., Urano T.

A family of serine/threonine kinase Aurora constitutes a key regulator in the orchestration of mitotic events. The human Aurora paralogues Aurora-A, Aurora-B, and Aurora-C have a highly conserved catalytic domain. Extensive studies on the role of Aurora-A and Aurora-B have revealed distinct localizations and functions in regulating mitotic processes, whereas little is known about Aurora-C. The present study shows that human Aurora-C is a chromosomal passenger protein that forms complexes with Aurora-B and inner centromere protein (INCENP), which are known passenger proteins. We show that INCENP binds and activates Aurora-C in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, Aurora-C co-expressed with INCENP elicits the phosphorylation of endogenous histone H3 in mammalian cells, even though this phosphorylation is not sufficient to establish chromosome condensation in interphase cells. We therefore suggest that Aurora-C is a novel chromosomal passenger protein that cooperates with Aurora-B to regulate mitotic chromosome dynamics in mammalian cells.

J. Biol. Chem. 279:47201-47211(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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