Author with six recent corrections retracts JBC paper questioned on PubPeer
Here are Peer1’s comments from PubPeer about the paper, “Mechanism of MTA1 Protein Overexpression-linked Invasion:”
Fig. 8 of this paper shows image of fluorescent cells. The top panel of 8B (Ctrl.) and the lower left panel of Fig. 8D (MCF-7/MTA1, Ctrl. siRNA) has part of the same image used to represent a completely different experimental condition.
Furthermore, the top right panel of Figure 8D (MCF-7/pcDNA, HMMR overexpression) contains portions of an image from another paper by this group (Figure 7C, top right panel of JBC 2012; 287: p5615-5626, PMID: 22184113). The panel below this (lower right of 8D) also contains part of the image from the lower right portion of Fig. 7C in the other JBC paper. Identical images presented for completely unrelated experimental conditions.
Notably the images are not re-used “straight”, but are re-sized, different exposure, contrast, brightness, and moved slightly in the field of view. This makes it unlikely that this was simply an accidental pasting of the wrong image during manuscript preparation.
Finally, Fig. 8C of this paper shows cell migration (scratch wound) assays. Portions of the top right panel are again identical to images in the top right panel of Figure 7A in the other JBC paper.
The paper’s PDF is marked as retracted, but the abstract is not marked yet. JBC tells us that the notice will be quite scant:
Dr. Kumar’s retraction will only state “This article was withdrawn by the authors” since we have not received a report from GWU or ORI concerning this article.
The paper, originally published in December 2011, has been cited six times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Neither Kumar nor the other corresponding author responded to our requests for comment.
The anonymous PubPeer poster also points out that Kumar has had six other corrections “in recent months, due to inadvertent errors during figure preparation:”
- Cancer Cell, “Dynein Light Chain 1, a p21-Activated Kinase 1-Interacting Substrate, Promotes Cancerous Phenotypes“
- Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry, “Stage-specific expression of dynein light chain-1 and its interacting kinase, p21-activated kinase-1, in rodent testes: implications in spermiogenesis“
- Molecular and Cellular Biology, “p21-Activated Kinase 1 Regulates Microtubule Dynamics by Phosphorylating Tubulin Cofactor B“
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “MTA1, a transcriptional activator of breast cancer amplified sequence 3“
- Molecular Endocrinology, “Estrogen Induces Expression of BCAS3, a Novel Estrogen Receptor-α Coactivator, through Proline-, Glutamic Acid-, and Leucine-Rich Protein-1 (PELP1)“
- JBC, “Metastasis-associated protein 1 drives tumor cell migration and invasion through transcriptional repression of RING finger protein 144A“