That’s because the retraction note is – as we’ve come to expect from JBC – not very informative.
Here’s the only explanation for the retraction of “The Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (DSCAM) Interacts with and Activates Pak”:
This article has been withdrawn by the authors.
The corresponding author, Kun-Liang Guan, earned a MacArthur “genius” grant in 1998 at the ripe age of 35, amounting to $230,000 over five years. (Disclosure: Retraction Watch is also supported by a two-year $400,000 grant from a different MacArthur Foundation program.) The following year, Guan received a $5,000 award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which publishes JBC.
The paper focused on the signaling mechanisms of Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) which, when mutated, leads to mental retardation. It’s been cited 35 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get much clarity from the journal about why this paper bit the dust. Here’s what we were told by Kaoru Sakabe, Manager of Publication Issues at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:
It is JBC policy to maintain confidentiality in such matters.
Guan has another retraction under his belt, also from JBC. Here’s more from the note for “AMP-activated protein kinase contributes to UV- and H2O2-induced apoptosis in human skin keratinocytes,” which is fairly informative:
This article has been withdrawn at the request of the authors.
Reason: To demonstrate that the activation of AMPK is mediated by EGFR activation, the authors included data in Fig. 2 (A, G, and H) that had been used in a previous publication. After publication of the above article, the authors were made aware of this and are therefore withdrawing this paper. Despite these errors, the authors stand by the reproducibility of the experimental data and the conclusion.
The first author on the AMPK paper, Cong Cao, was recently named in a lawsuit between a former postdoc and his advisor, in which the former postdoc claims to have “detected fabrication and falsification of data” by Cao.
Guan is currently based at the University of California, San Diego. We’ve asked him for more information, and will let you know if he responds.
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