Mitotic serine/threonine kinase that contributes to the regulation of cell cycle progression. Associates with the centrosome and the spindle microtubules during mitosis and plays a critical role in various mitotic events including the establishment of mitotic spindle, centrosome duplication, centrosome separation as well as maturation, chromosomal alignment, spindle assembly checkpoint, and cytokinesis. Required for normal spindle positioning during mitosis and for the localization of NUMA1 and DCTN1 to the cell cortex during metaphase. Required for initial activation of CDK1 at centrosomes. Phosphorylates numerous target proteins, including ARHGEF2, BORA, BRCA1, CDC25B, DLGP5, HDAC6, KIF2A, LATS2, NDEL1, PARD3, PPP1R2, PLK1, RASSF1, TACC3, p53/TP53 and TPX2. Regulates KIF2A tubulin depolymerase activity. Required for normal axon formation. Plays a role in microtubule remodeling during neurite extension. Important for microtubule formation and/or stabilization. Also acts as a key regulatory component of the p53/TP53 pathway, and particularly the checkpoint-response pathways critical for oncogenic transformation of cells, by phosphorylating and destabilizing p53/TP53. Phosphorylates its own inhibitors, the protein phosphatase type 1 (PP1) isoforms, to inhibit their activity. Necessary for proper cilia disassembly prior to mitosis. Regulates protein levels of the anti-apoptosis protein BIRC5 by suppressing the expression of the SCF(FBXL7) E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase substrate adapter FBXL7 through the phosphorylation of the transcription factor FOXP1.