Aurora proteins are a family of serine/threonine protein kinases that play a key role in the regulation of cell division. Mammalian genomes encode 3 aurora kinases named aurora A, aurora B and aurora C. All 3 contain a regulatory domain at the N terminus which is quite different between the molecules followed by a catalytic serine/threonine kinase domain which is almost identical between them. Aurora A is required for centrosome duplication, entry into mitosis, formation of bipolar spindle and mitotic checkpoint. Aurora B is a chromosomal passenger protein and essential for chromosome condensation, kinetochore functions, spindle checkpoint activation and cytokinesis completion. Aurora C is heavily expressed in testis and is involved in spermatogenesis, but is also expressed in many cell lines and cancer cells and has been less well studied to date.
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