The Role of Aurora Kinase A in Bladder Cancer - Expert Commentary

Aurora kinase A (AURKA) plays a vital role in several cancers, but little is known about its role in bladder cancer. A recent study published by Guo et al. in BMC Systems Biology investigated the relationship between AURKA expression, clinicopathologic characteristics and overall survival in patients with bladder cancer using sequential gene expression profiling.

The investigators found that AURKA expression levels were significantly higher in primary bladder cancer (PBC) and recurrent bladder cancer (RBC) tissues than in normal control tissues. AUKRA expression was higher in RBC than PBC. High expression of AURKA positively correlated clinicopathologic characteristics as stage and grade. Most importantly, high AURKA expression correlated with worse survival. 

The authors conducted in vitro experiments to determine the impact of the genetic manipulation AURKA on the proliferation of BC cells. They identified a significant increase in the rate of proliferation in cells overexpressing AURKA in comparison to untransfected control cells. Silencing AURKA resulted in a decreased proliferation rate and induced apoptosis. 

These findings highlight the potential biological role of AURKA in bladder cancer. If confirmed in animal and patient-derived models, these findings suggest that AURKA is a potential therapeutic target in bladder cancer patients.

Written by: Bishoy M. Faltas, MD, Director of Bladder Cancer Research, Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
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