Purpose: DNA aneuploidy, which is characterized by cells containing an abnormal number of chromosomes, is closely associated with carcinogenesis and malignant progression. Aneuploidy occurs during cell division when the chromosomes do not separate properly. Aurora kinases (Aurora-A, -B, and -C) contribute to accurate cell division, and are candidate molecular targets for mitosis-specific anticancer drugs. Methods: We determined the expression of Aurora-A and -B in 110 gastric cancer specimens by performing an immunohistochemical analysis. We also determined the DNA content, TP53 gene mutations, and microsatellite instability in the same samples. Results: We found the nuclear expression of Aurora-A and -B to increase in tumor tissue in comparison to that in normal epithelial tissue. A high Aurora-B expression significantly correlated with aneuploidy and TP53 mutations, but not with microsatellite instability. In contrast, the Aurora-A expression did not correlate with either aneuploidy or microsatellite instability. In addition, the expression of Aurora-A or -B was not significantly associated with the clinical outcomes or prognosis. Conclusions: Our results suggest that an overexpression of Aurora-B, but not of Aurora-A, might contribute to DNA aneuploidy in gastric cancers by promoting chromosomal instability.
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