MK-2206, as a pan Akt inhibitor

AKT/Protein Kinase B is a serine/threonine-specific protein kinase that constitutes an important pathway that regulates the signaling of multiple essential biological processes such as glucose metabolism, apoptosis, cell proliferation, and cell migration. AKT can be recruited to the membrane and activated with increases in PIP3 induced by PI3K. Since activating mutations of PI3K occur in human tumors, the AKT pathway is a promising potential target for cancer chemotherapy. [1] MK-2206, is identified as an orally bioavailable allosteric inhibitor of Akt with potential antineoplastic activity. MK-2206 has shown cytotoxic activity in vitro cell line, such as  T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)[2], and the efficacy of MK-2206 also has been proven in preclinical models of human cancers.



As an Akt inhibitor, MK-2206 inhibits the activity of Akt in a non-ATP competitive manner, and further results in the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and cell proliferation and the induction of cell apoptosis. Scientists and researchers have studied the action mechanism of MK-2206. As is known, Akt possesses a protein domain called Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain, which binds with high affinity to phosphoinositides including PIP3 and PIP2. As reported about the mechanism of action previously, allosteric Akt inhibitors not only block Akt kinase activity but also inhibit Akt activation by blocking phosphorylation of Akt on T308 and S473. Though the mechanism of action of MK-2206 is not entirely understood, existing data suggest that binding of inhibitor induces a closed conformation that occludes binding sites for activating kinases PDK1 and mTORC2, and Akt substrates, and further disrupts membrane localization. [3] 

MK-2206, as a member from this class of Akt inhibitors, has recently entered clinical development. The safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and anti-tumor activity of MK-2206 has been evaluated in Phase 1 in Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors, including Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer. In addition, Phase 2 Study of MK-2206 in Patients With Relapsed Refractory Acute Myelogenous Leukemia is currently recruiting participants. Besides, combination study of Everolimus and other drugs is in process. Of which, the Phase I Study of MK-2206 in combination with standard doses of chemotherapies or targeted agents, such as carboplatin, paclitaxel, docetaxel and erlotinib, has been completed in patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors. We will continue to follow up on the new clinical studies about MK-2206 and the related combination therapy.


[1] Carnero A. The PKB/AKT pathway in cancer. Curr Pharm Des. 2010, 16(1), 34-44.
[2] Simioni C, et al. Cytotoxic activity of the novel Akt inhibitor, MK-2206, in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia. 2012, doi:10.1038/leu.2012.136.
[3] Cherrin C, et al. An allosteric Akt inhibitor effectively blocks Akt signaling and tumor growth with only transient effects on glucose and insulin levels in vivo. Cancer Biol Ther. 2010, 9(7), 493-503.


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