Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Karel Bezouška, who broke into lab to tamper with investigation, has JACS paper retracted

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jacsat_v136i001.inddKarel Bezouška, who, as we noted last year “broke into a lab refrigerator so he could tamper with samples being used to try to replicate the experiments during the investigation,” has had his fourth paper retracted.

Here’s the notice, for “Synthesis of Multivalent Glycoconjugates Containing the Immunoactive LELTE Peptide: Effect of Glycosylation on Cellular Activation and Natural Killing by Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells,” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS):

In the published article, the authors described a new way of presenting pentapeptide LELTE based on its attachment to a cyclopeptide RAFT scaffold (K-K-K-P-G)2 through the α-amino group of lysine residues, alone or in combination with the carbohydrate epitope α-GalNAc. While the synthetic work in this paper is reproducible, and all structures were fully characterized by NMR and MS, the authors have discovered that the ability of such scaffolds to precipitate CD69 receptor or to activate CD69-positive cells could not be repeated.

Evidence of this and other scientific misconducts on the part of Karel Bezouška has been found by the joint Ethical Committee of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Charles University in Prague.

Therefore, the authors who responded to a request from the Journal, O.R., P.D., A.K., D.A., O.V., D.K., K.K., R.G., M.S., K.B., and V.K., retract this article due to the inability to reproduce the immunological data described. They apologize to all affected parties.

The paper has been cited 13 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Bezouška’s previous retractions were in Nature, BMC Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.

Hat tip: FX Coudert