BACKGROUND Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in mitotic checkpoint genes could confer increased susceptibility to gastric cancer (GC). We investigated the association of Aurora kinase A (AURKA), Aurora kinase B (AURKB), Aurora kinase C (AURKC), Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) and Budding uninhibited by benzimidazol 3, yeast (BUB3) gene polymorphisms with GC risk. MATERIALS AND METHODS Genotyping of 6 SNPs in AURKA (rs911160 and rs8173), AURKB (rs2289590), AURKC (rs11084490), PLK1 (rs42873), and BUB3 (rs7897156) was performed using TaqMan genotyping assays. RESULTS Our study demonstrated that rs911160 (AURKA) heterozygous genotype was associated with an increased GC risk (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.01-2.22, P = 0.043). Analysis of rs911160 (AURKA) showed significant association with an increased risk for intestinal type GC (OR = 1.80, 95%CI = 1.01-3.21, P = 0.040) and the risk was significantly higher in women than men (OR = 2.65, 95%CI = 1.02-6.87, P = 0.033). SNP rs2289590 in AURKB might contribute to susceptibility for the development of gastric cancer, particularly in women (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.05-4.09, P = 0.032). CONCLUSION Our findings suggested that AURKA (rs911160) and AURKB (rs2289590) polymorphisms could affect GC risk. Further validation studies in larger and multi-ethnical populations are needed to elucidate their functional impact on the development of GC. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:701-711, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.