ⓘ MELK

                                     

ⓘ MELK

Maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the MELK gene. MELK is a serine/threonine kinase belonging to the family of AMPK/snf1 protein kinases. MELK was first identified present as maternal mRNA in mouse embryos. MELK has been shown to involved in progression through the cell cycle, possibly linked to its interaction with CDC25B.

Melk expression is elevated in several cancer and active research target for pharmacological inhibition. Melk was previously considered important for the proliferation of cancer cells. However, recent studies using CRISPR demonstrated that Melk is completely indifferent for the growth of cancer cells, questioning the feasibility of targeting this protein in patients.