Research ResourcePhosphoproteomics

Mitotic Substrates of the Kinase Aurora with Roles in Chromatin Regulation Identified Through Quantitative Phosphoproteomics of Fission Yeast

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Science Signaling  28 Jun 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 179, pp. rs6
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001588

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Expanding Aurora’s World

Yeast are an attractive system for investigating complex biological processes, such as mitosis, because they frequently have a smaller set of regulatory genes than do mammals and they are genetically tractable. For instance, the mitotic kinase Aurora is encoded by a single gene in yeast, in contrast to metazoans, which have two or more Aurora-encoding genes. Koch et al. used fission yeast engineered to express an inhibitor-sensitive form of Aurora and then performed phosphoproteomic analysis to identify previously unknown targets of this key regulator of mitosis. Although Aurora has a well-established function in chromosome attachment to mitotic spindles, this work suggests that Aurora has a broader role in regulation of chromatin structure and may protect cells from DNA damage. These additional functions have implications for the investigation of Aurora inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.