The Aurora kinase family is a well-characterized serine/threonine protein kinase family that regulates different processes of mitotic events. Although functions of animal and yeast Aurora kinases have been analyzed, plant aurora kinases were not identified and characterized. We identified three Aurora kinase orthologs in Arabidopsis thaliana and designated these as AtAUR1, AtAUR2, and AtAUR3. These AtAURs could phosphorylate serine 10 in histone H3, in vitro. Dynamic analyses of GFP-fused AtAUR proteins revealed that AtAUR1 and AtAUR2 localized at the nuclear membrane in interphase and located in mitotic spindles during cell division. AtAUR1 also localized in the cell plates. AtAUR3 showed dot-like distribution on condensed chromosomes at prophase and then localized at the metaphase plate. At late anaphase, AtAUR3 is evenly localized on chromosomes. The localization of AtAUR3 during mitosis is very similar to that of phosphorylated histone H3. Interestingly, an overexpression of AtAUR3 induces disassembly of spindle microtubules and alteration of orientation of cell division. Our results indicate that plant Aurora kinases have different characters from that of Aurora kinases of other eukaryotes.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 10, 2005
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