During the late phase of megakaryopoiesis, megakaryocytes undergo polyploidization, which is characterized by DNA duplication without concomitant cell division. However, it remains unknown by which mechanisms this process occurs. AIM-1 and STK15 belong to the Aurora/increase-in-ploidy (Ipl)1 serine/threonine kinase family and play key roles in mitosis. In a human interleukin-3-dependent cell line, F-36P, the expressions of AIM-1 and STK15 mRNA were specifically observed at G2/M phase of the cell cycle during proliferation. In contrast, the expressions of AIM-1 and STK15 were continuously repressed during megakaryocytic polyploidization of human erythro/megakaryocytic cell lines (F-36P, K562, and CMK) treated with thrombopoietin, activated ras (H-rasG12V), or phorbol ester. Furthermore, their expressions were suppressed during thrombopoietin-induced polyploidization of normal human megakaryocytes. Activation of AIM-1 by the induced expression of AIM-1(wild-type) canceled TPA-induced polyploidization of K562 cells significantly, whereas that of STK15 did not. Moreover, suppression of AIM-1 by the induced expression of AIM-1 (K/R, dominant-negative type) led to polyploidization in 25% of K562 cells, whereas STK15(K/R) showed no effect. Also, the induced expression of AIM-1(k/R) in CMK cells provoked polyploidization up to 32N. These results suggested that downregulation of AIM-1 at M phase may be involved in abortive mitosis and polyploid formation of megakaryocytes.
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