The head of immunology at India’s Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Sunil Kumar Manna, has retracted two papers for image problems.
Here’s the notice from Cell Death and Differentiation for “Inhibition of RelA phosphorylation sensitizes apoptosis in constitutive NF-kappaB-expressing and chemoresistant cells:”
The corresponding author wishes to retract the above paper for the reason that the images in some of the Figure panels in the paper could not unambiguously be attributed in the laboratory notebooks. Thus, the results presented in this paper are not fully supported by the available laboratory records. All the authors have agreed to sign this retraction notice. We deeply regret this circumstance and apologize for any adverse consequences that this retraction might cause to the scientific community.
The paper, which has been cited 22 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, had already been subject to a Corrigendum in September 2012:
The authors have made the following errors that they would like to correct.
Since the publication of the article the authors and editors have determined that incorrect pictures for Figure 3b and Figure 6b were incorporated by mistake. The figures below are the correct versions:
P3-25 induces apoptosis. (b) HuT-78 cells were treated with varying concentrations of P3-25 or 5 μM BAY for 72 h and percentage of dead cells (red color) were counted using the ‘Live & Dead’ cell assay kit and indicated in mean percentage in bracket from triplicate assays
P3-25 potentiates apoptosis mediated by chemotherapeutic agents. (b) HuT-78 cells were treated with 100 nM P3-25 for 4 h followed by treatment with doxorubicin, taxol, or cisplatin (1 μM each) for 72 h. The number of dead cells (red color) were counted using the ‘Live & Dead’ cell assay kit and indicated in percentage in brackets
The other retraction notice, for “A Dihydrobenzofuran Lignan Induces Cell Death by Modulating Mitochondrial Pathway and G2/M Cell Cycle Arrest,” from the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, notes that Manna’s home institution had investigated the issue:
This paper was withdrawn at the request of the authors due to inappropriate and duplicate images, representing violations of the Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research of the American Chemical Society, at the recommendation of a committee convened by the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics. The original paper was published ASAP on April 29, 2009, and withdrawn on February 6, 2013.
The paper has been cited 12 times.
Manna — who according to his bio worked as a postdoc for MD Anderson’s Bharat Aggarwal, whose work is also under investigation — has also had a correction for a figure mixup in a 2010 paper in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
We’ve tried him for comment, and will update with anything we learn.