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Aurora kinase B (AURKB; aurora-B)

In vitro and mouse studies identified an AURKB-specific inhibitor that could help treat cancer. In a ligand-docking screen, a specific inhibitor of AURKB was identified that did not act on 49 other kinases, including AURKA (aurora-A). In human lung cancer cells, the inhibitor induced apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest and decreased anchorage-independent cell growth compared with vehicle control. In a mouse xenograft model of human lung cancer, intraperitoneal injection of the inhibitor suppressed tumor growth, whereas vehicle injection did not. Next steps could include additional animal safety studies.
At least four companies have inhibitors of the aurora kinases in clinical and preclinical development to treat cancers.

SciBX 5(46); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1202
Published online Nov. 29, 2012

Patent application filed covering the aurora kinase inhibitors; available for licensing

Xie, H. et al. Cancer Res.; published online Nov. 1, 2012;
Contact: Zigang Dong, University of Minnesota, Austin, Minn.