Shigeaki Kato up to 38 retractions

Shigeaki Kato
Shigeaki Kato

Our retraction notice count for Shigeaki Kato, number seven on our leaderboard, has grown to 38.

The former University of Tokyo endocrinologist recently earned another retraction, for a paper in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics that contained image manipulation. As we’ve noted before, Kato resigned from the university in 2012 as it investigated his work for misconduct; in 2013 a Japanese newspaper reported that the investigation had found 43 papers from his lab contained “likely altered or forged materials.”

In addition to the new retraction, we’ve dug up four others for Kato from the past few years, plus one correction. Two of the retraction notices mention an investigation at the University of Tokyo.

First, the retraction note for “Multiple co-activator complexes support ligand-induced transactivation function of VDR,” published in December:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Author.

Following the authors’ own investigation and an institutional investigation by the University of Tokyo Scientific Research Code of Conduct Committee, the authors have concluded that the image manipulation of figure 3 necessitates retraction of the paper.

Since this action undermines the integrity of the presented findings, the authors wish to retract this paper and deeply regret that these misleading data were published and the resulting negative impact on the scientific community.

The paper has been cited four times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Next, here are the notices from past years that we had missed.

“Double PHD fingers protein DPF2 recognizes acetylated histones and suppresses the function of estrogen-related receptor α through histone deacetylas,” published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, and cited 12 times, was retracted in February 2015. The retraction note explains:

This article has been retracted by the publisher. An investigation by the University of Tokyo has identified inappropriate image manipulation in Figs. 1D and 2C.

“Epigenetic modifications involved in the opposing regulation of CYP27B1 expression by the vitamin D receptor and parathyroid hormone,” published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was withdrawn in 2010. (We count that as a retraction.) The journal is not indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the withdrawal note:

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

“Nuclear Receptors as Targets for Drug Development: Crosstalk Between Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor g and Cytokines in Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells,” published in Journal of Pharmacological Sciences and cited 22 times, was retracted in 2013:

The following review article by I. Takada, M. Suzawa, and S. Kato: Nuclear receptors as targets for drug development: crosstalk between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g and cytokines in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. J Pharmcol Sci 97, 184 – 189 (2005) has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor in Chief, and The Japanese Pharmacological Society. The authors have requested the retraction based on their acknowledgement that their original article underlying this review is under doubt because of improper figure image arrangements. The authors apologize to all concerned.

Human Expanded Polyglutamine Androgen Receptor Mutants in Neurodegeneration as a Novel Ligand Target,” published in Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and cited six times, was retracted in 2014:

Following an institutional investigation, the article referenced above has been found to contain an over-manipulation of the data shown in Fig. 2D.

Because the authors are unable to provide the raw sets for the data, the corresponding author, Dr. Shigeaki Kato, has requested that this article be retracted.

There’s one correction that we missed, for “Aberrant E2F activation by polyglutamine expansion of androgen receptor in SBMA neurotoxicity,” published in PNAS and cited 11 times. The correction, published in 2012, says:

The authors note that Fig. 4 appeared incorrectly. The corrected figure and its legend appear below. These errors do not affect the conclusions of the article.

 We’ll let you click through for the whole corrected figure and legend.

Our total count for Kato is now at 38 retractions, two corrections, and one expression of concern. He had two other expressions of concern, which turned into two of the 38 retractions.

Not all the of notes mention the University of Tokyo investigation, which allegedly flagged 43 papers. He’s far from the top of our leaderboard — that spot goes to Yoshitaka Fujii at 183.

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