Aurora B prevents premature removal of spindle assembly checkpoint proteins from the kinetochore: A key role for Aurora B in mitosis.
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Accurate chromosome segregation is dependent on the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). In current models, the key direct role of Aurora B in the SAC has been suggested to be to promote rapid kinetochore localisation of MPS1, allowing MPS1 to generate the checkpoint signal. However, Aurora B is also thought to play an indirect role in the SAC through the destabilisation of kinetochore-microtubule (KT-MT) attachments. Here, we demonstrate that Aurora B activity is not required for the kinetochore recruitment of the majority of SAC proteins. More importantly, we show that the primary role of Aurora B in the SAC is to prevent the premature removal of SAC proteins from the kinetochore, which is strictly dependent on KT-MT interactions. Moreover, in the presence of KT-MT interactions, Aurora B inhibition silences a persistent SAC induced by tethering MPS1 to the kinetochore. This explains the highly synergistic interaction between Aurora B and MPS1 inhibitors to override the SAC, which is lost when cells are pre-arrested in nocodazole. Furthermore, we show that Aurora B and MPS1 inhibitors synergistically kill a panel of breast and colon cancer cell lines, including cells that are otherwise insensitive to Aurora B inhibitors alone. These data demonstrate that the major role of Aurora B in SAC is to prevent the removal of SAC proteins from tensionless kinetochores, thus inhibiting premature SAC silencing, and highlights a therapeutic strategy through combination of Aurora B and MPS1 inhibitors.
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Drug Target Discovery
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