Chromosomal passenger proteins associate with chromosomes early in mitosis and transfer to the spindle at ana/telophase. Recent results show that aurora B/AIM-1 (aurora and Ipl1-like midbody-associated protein kinase), which is responsible for mitotic histone H3 phosphorylation, INCENP (Inner Centromere protein) and Survivin/BIR are in a macromolecular complex as novel chromosomal passenger proteins. Aurora B/AIM-1 can bind to Survivin and the C-terminal region of INCENP, respectively, and colocalizes with both proteins to the centromeres, midzone and midbody. Disruption of either aurora B/AIM-1 or INCENP function leads to sever defects in chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. Moreover, the formation of the central spindle through anaphase to cytokinesis is also disrupted severely. These data suggest that chromosomal passenger complex is required for proper chromosome segregation by phosphorylating histone H3, and cytokinesis by ensuring the correct assembly of the midzone and midbody microtubule. Chromosomal passenger protein complex may couple chromosome segregation with cytokinesis.
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