Mitosis is a highly coordinated process that assures the fidelity of chromosome segregation. Errors in this process result in aneuploidy which can lead to cell death or oncogenesis. In this paper we describe a putative mammalian protein kinase, AIM-1 (Aurora and Ip11-like midbody-associated protein), related to Drosophila Aurora and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ip11, both of which are required for chromosome segregation. AIM-1 message and protein accumulate at G2/M phase. The protein localizes at the equator of central spindles during late anaphase and at the midbody during telophase and cytokinesis. Overexpression of kinase-inactive AIM-1 disrupts cleavage furrow formation without affecting nuclear division. Furthermore, cytokinesis frequently fails, resulting in cell polyploidy and subsequent cell death. These results strongly suggest that AIM-1 is required for proper progression of cytokinesis in mammalian cells.
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