Aurora A, centrosome structure, and the centrosome cycle

Kara B. Lukasiewicz, Wilma L. Lingle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The centrosome, also known as the microtubule organizing center of the cell, is a membrane-less organelle composed of a pair of barrel-shaped centrioles surrounded by electron-dense pericentriolar material. The centrosome progresses through the centrosome cycle in step with the cell cycle such that centrosomes are duplicated in time to serve as the spindle poles during mitosis and that each resultant daughter cell contains a single centrosome. Regulation of the centrosome cycle with relation to the cell cycle is an essential process to maintain the ratio of one centrosome per new daughter cell. Numerous mitosis-specific kinases have been implicated in this regulation, and phosphorlyation plays an important role in coordinating the centrosome and cell cycles. Centrosome amplification can occur when the cycles are uncoupled, and this amplification is associated with cancer and with an increase in the levels of chromosomal instability. The aurora kinases A, B, and C are serine/threonine kinases that are active during mitosis. Aurora A is associated with centrosomes, being localized at the centrosome just prior to the onset of mitosis and for the duration of mitosis. Overexpression of aurora A leads to centrosome amplification and cellular transformation. The activity of aurora A is regulated by phosphorlyation and proteasomal degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-619
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Aurora kinases
  • Cell cycle
  • Centrosome amplification
  • Centrosome cycle
  • Phosphorlyation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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