Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Group investigated by University of Louisville corrects lung cancer paper after retracting six others

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A group of researchers whose work has been under investigation at the University of Louisville has issued a correction for a paper in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (AJRCMB).

The correction follows three retractions each in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the AJRCMB, the latter of which made it clear that lab member ShouWei Han was responsible for the manipulations and duplications that brought down the papers. Here’s the new notice, which appeared in the March 1, 2012 issue of the journal:

There was an error in a figure published in the article by Jesse Roman, Jeffrey D. Ritzenthaler, Sussane Roser-Page, XiaoJuan Sun, and ShouWei Han (2010) “α5β1-Integrin expression is essential for tumor progression in experimental lung cancer” (1). Specifically, the published version of Figure 1B, evaluating the effects of α5 silencing on the expression of other integrin subunits in lung carcinoma cells, erroneously contained duplicate data from another paper. An investigation conducted by the University of Louisville concluded that ShouWei Han was responsible for this error without the knowledge of the co-authors. The coauthors apologize to the readers of the journal for this error.

The correct version of Figure 1B is reproduced above; because Figures 1A and 1B are directly related, the corresponding version of Figure 1A is also included.

A Retraction Watch commenter had more to say about what was wrong with the figures (links added):

Check Fig. 1B (alpha2 blot) in this paper (Roman, J et al, Am J Resp. Cell Mol Biol, 43:684-691, 2010) where it appears to use the same data from a western blot from Fig. 1E (AMPK) from the now retracted article (Han, S et al, Am J Resp. Cell Mol Bio, 40: 325-331, 2009). And Check Fig. 1B (beta1 blot) from Roman, J et al, Am J Resp. Cell Mol Biol, 43:684-691, 2010, where it also appears to use the same data from a western blot from Fig. 3B (p70S6K) from Han, S et al, PPAR Research, 29632, 2007.

The paper has been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. As we’ve noted earlier, Han resigned his University of Louisville post in September of 2010.

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