Differential sensitivity of glioma stem cells to aurora kinase A inhibitors: implications for stem cell mitosis and centrosome dynamics

Mariella Mannino, Natividad Gomez-Roman, Helfrid Hochegger, Anthony J. Chalmers

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Glioma stem-cell-like cells are considered to be responsible for treatment resistance and tumour recurrence following chemo-radiation in glioblastoma patients, but specific targets by which to kill the cancer stem cell population remain elusive. A characteristic feature of stem cells is their ability to undergo both symmetric and asymmetric cell divisions. In this study we have analysed specific features of glioma stem cell mitosis. We found that glioma stem cells appear to be highly prone to undergo aberrant cell division and polyploidization. Moreover, we discovered a pronounced change in the dynamic of mitotic centrosome maturation in these cells. Accordingly, glioma stem cell survival appeared to be strongly dependent on Aurora A activity. Unlike differentiated cells, glioma stem cells responded to moderate Aurora A inhibition with spindle defects, polyploidization and a dramatic increase in cellular senescence, and were selectively sensitive to Aurora A and Plk1 inhibitor treatment. Our study proposes inhibition of centrosomal kinases as a novel strategy to selectively target glioma stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • aurora kinase A inhibitor
  • enzyme inhibitor
  • polo like kinase 1
  • azepine derivative
  • protein kinase inhibitor
  • asymmetric cell division
  • cell differentiation

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