The notice is clear on the problems with the science, which together “call into question the main conclusions of the paper.” Three of the paper’s five authors were employed at Novartis at the time of publication.
Here’s the notice for “Wolfram syndrome 1 and adenylyl cyclase 8 interact at the plasma membrane to regulate insulin production and secretion”:
Our Letter reported that WFS1 modulates insulin biosynthesis and secretion due to an interaction between WFS1 and AC8. It has recently become apparent that the anti-AC8 antibody, as well as some other key antibodies employed in the Letter are non-specific. In addition, we noted increased levels of WFS1 protein and the appearance of what may be post-translational modifications after incubation with high glucose (Fig. 5a,b and Supplementary Figs S4,S5). These two observations could impact protein–protein interactions by means other than altered trafficking, as the paper suggests. These concerns call into question the main conclusions of the paper. While we maintain that WFS1 does play a role in insulin biosynthesis and secretion, we cannot conclude that this is due to a WFS1–AC8 interaction. For these reasons, we think that the most responsible action is to retract the paper. We apologise to the scientific community for any confusion this publication may have caused.
The paper, which has been cited 23 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, was a big enough deal to get a “News and Views” in Nature Cell Biology. That article now links to an (oddly, partially paywalled) note:
We wish to alert readers to the fact that the Letter (S. G. Fonseca et al. Nat. Cell Biol. 14, 1105–1112; 2012) on which this News & Views was based, has been retracted. The comments in this News and Views that rely on the accuracy and reproducibility of this data should therefore be reconsidered.
We’ve emailed the authors and editor, and will update with anything we hear back.