What are MEK Inhibitors?

What are MEK Inhibitors?

What are MEK Inhibitors?

MEK inhibitors are a class of drug or chemical that stops the action of the mitogen-activated protein kinase enzymes known by the names MEK 1 and MEK 2. Mitogen-activated protein kinase enzymes are used by the cells of mammals to communicate and control cell maintenance. This maintenance includes cell growth and programmed cell death, known as apoptosis.

These mitogen-activated protein kinases are responsible for helping cells communicate instructions to grow, reproduce, and die. These are genes that are found in sequences together and are related. MEK inhibitors interfere with this communication, thus making cells communicate differently with each other.

What are they Used for?

Due to these drugs’ abilities to change the action of these enzymes, they can be used to induce apoptosis and to also prevent cell growth. This sounds like a bad thing and something that doctors and scientists would want to keep away from humans as it could harm their development and well-being. However, they have a very important role in medicine. MEK inhibitors are crucial cancer treatments. These drugs have been found to stop the growth of certain cancer cells and also induce apoptosis in some of these cancer cells. This means the cancer stops growing and some of the cancer is removed, or “killed” by the mechanism of these drugs.

What MEK Inhibitors are Approved?

Currently, four MEK inhibitors are approved for use by the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA). These drugs are used in cancer treatments and have been successful. The drugs include

  • Trametinib
  • Binimetinib
  • Selumetinib
  • Cobmetinib

There is a potential for more drugs to be approved in the future, but these drugs are currently the best options for MEK inhibitors in medical use.


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