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Background: MEK1 and MEK2 (MAPK kinase 1/2, or ERK kinase 1/2) are mitogen-activated protein kinases that stimulate MAP kinase activity, playing a role in both cell growth and differentiation (1,2). MEK itself is activated via phosphorylation at serines 217/218 and 221/222 by upstream activator kinases, including c-raf, mos and MEK kinase (3,4). MEK1 and MEK2 are activated by a wide variety of growth factors and cytokines, and also by membrane depolarization and calcium influx (5).