Last week, we reported on the retraction of a paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) that had one of the journal’s typically inscrutable retraction notices.:
This article has been withdrawn by the authors.
Late last week, we heard back from corresponding author Takashi Tsuji by email. It turns out one of our commenters had basically figured out what was wrong. It was, as seems to often be the case lately in retractions we cover, troubles with Western blots:
In September of 2011, an editor have informed me that the JBC office have received complaints concerning our published paper in JBC from a reader. We have checked the indicated figures in compared to those source files according to the complaints carefully and found our mistakes.
We have displayed the data of Western blot analysis for beta-actin and we had used the same data in several figures by our mistake. After the Western blot analysis for many samples, only the image for target protein was transferred to figure file by the trimming of the source file. In these processes, those mistakes would be occurred. We checked original source files and experimental notebook carefully, and confirmed the existence of those original data with reproducibility. Furthermore, the meanings and explanations about our results in our paper are correct and need not to change the explanation in response to the replacements of those figures, even if the incorrect WB is replaced with correct one in those figures.
However, we should sincerely apologize to being our careless to prepare those figures and troubling on readers of JBC. Thus, we have withdrawn our paper by ourselves. We do not plan to withdraw another our published paper in near future.