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Nuclear localisation of Aurora-A: its regulation and significance for Aurora-A functions in cancer.

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Naso, Francesco Davide 
Boi, Dalila 
Ascanelli, Camilla 
Pamfil, Georgiana 


The Aurora-A kinase regulates cell division, by controlling centrosome biology and spindle assembly. Cancer cells often display elevated levels of the kinase, due to amplification of the gene locus, increased transcription or post-translational modifications. Several inhibitors of Aurora-A activity have been developed as anti-cancer agents and are under evaluation in clinical trials. Although the well-known mitotic roles of Aurora-A point at chromosomal instability, a hallmark of cancer, as a major link between Aurora-A overexpression and disease, recent evidence highlights the existence of non-mitotic functions of potential relevance. Here we focus on a nuclear-localised fraction of Aurora-A with oncogenic roles. Interestingly, this pool would identify not only non-mitotic, but also kinase-independent functions of the kinase. We review existing data in the literature and databases, examining potential links between Aurora-A stabilisation and localisation, and discuss them in the perspective of a more effective targeting of Aurora-A in cancer therapy.



Antineoplastic Agents, Aurora Kinase A, Cell Nucleus, Centrosome, Humans, Mitosis, Neoplasms, Protein Kinase Inhibitors

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/R004137/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/M01102X/1)