A group of cancer genetics researchers in Italy and the U.S. has retracted three papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) after it became aware they had duplicated some bands in their figures.
Here are the three papers:
- Regulation of β1C and β1A integrin expression in prostate carcinoma cells (published in 2004 and cited 32 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge)
- Up-regulation of Skp2 after prostate cancer cell adhesion to basement membranes results in BRCA2 degradation and cell proliferation (published in 2006 and cited 22 times)
- Down-regulation of BRCA2 expression by collagen type I promotes prostate cancer cell proliferation (published in 2005 and cited 16 times)
All three notices say the same thing:
This article has been withdrawn by the authors.
We asked the JBC — whom we’ve criticized for such opaque notices before — for more information, and they said that their policy is “to maintain confidentiality in these matters.” The first author of the studies, Loredana Moro, tells us:
I was contacted by the Journal about presence of duplicated bands in some of the figures. Whilst original gels or gels from parallel experiments were provided to the Journal to confirm the veracity of published results, we agreed to comply with ASBMB publication guidelines and withdraw the papers entirely due to inappropriate presentation of data.
We don’t know how the journal first became aware of the potential duplications, but we do know that pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis contacted them about problems in all three articles in December 2012.