The article, titled “Strategies for efficient production of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli,” came from a pair of biochemical engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, in New Delhi, India.
According to the abstract:
In recent years, the number of recombinant proteins used for therapeutic applications has increased dramatically. Production of these proteins has a remarkable demand in the market. Escherichia coli offers a means for the rapid and economical production of recombinant proteins. These advantages, coupled with a wealth of biochemical and genetic knowledge, have enabled the production of such economically therapeutic proteins such as insulin and bovine growth hormone. These demands have driven the development of a variety of strategies for achieving high-level expression of protein, particularly involving several aspects such as expression vectors design, gene dosage, promoter strength (transcriptional regulation), mRNA stability, translation initiation and termination (translational regulation), host design considerations, codon usage, and fermentation factors available for manipulating the expression conditions, which are the major challenges is obtaining the high yield of protein at low cost.
But the retraction notice states that those conclusions had largely been reached, well, elsewhere:
Upon investigation carried out according to the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines, it has been found that the authors have duplicated substantial parts from the following article:
Strategies for Achieving High-Level Expression of Genes in Escherichia coli
Savvas C. Makrides
MICROBIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, Sept. 1996, p. 512–538 Vol. 60, No. 3
Copyright ©1996, American Society for Microbiology
In particular the authors duplicated
(1) Fig. 1 (incl. legend)
(2) The subchapter “Translational regulation”
(3) The subchapter “mRNA stability”
As it was not possible to contact the authors the retraction had to be executed without their approval.
The now-retracted paper has been cited 177 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen