In November 2015, MedChemComm issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the same paper. According to the EOC, the author of the paper, Yong Yang, flagged the paper to the journal, citing problems with authorship and portions of text overlap, which Yang attributed to an editing company.
The editor-in-chief of the journal told us Yang’s institution — China Medical University — carried out an investigation into the case at the journal’s request.
We’ve also found a 2015 retraction for Yang, after he published a paper without the okay of his previous institution in Texas.
Here’s the retraction notice:
I, the named author, hereby wholly retract this MedChemComm article due to extensive text and data overlap with a previous publication that I co-authored.1
Fig. 1b–d, 2b–d, 3a and 3b in this MedChemComm paper were copied from ref. 1 and do not represent results from experiments with apigenin.
This retraction supersedes the information provided in the Expression of Concern related to this article.
Signed: Yong Yang, 22nd June 2016.
Retraction endorsed by Richard Kelly, Executive Editor, MedChemComm.
- Quercetin suppresses insulin receptor signaling through inhibition of the insulin ligand–receptor binding and therefore impairs cancer cell proliferation, Feng Wang and Yong Yang, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2014, 452, 1028–1033.
And here’s the expression of concern, issued by the journal last November:
The following article ‘Identifying the inhibitory mechanism of apigenin on the insulin ligand–receptor binding’ by Yong Yang has been published in MedChemComm. The article reports that using single-molecule force measurement and fluorescence imaging it is demonstrated that apigenin inhibits insulin-induced dimerization of the insulin receptor (IR) through blocking ligand–receptor interactions. This inhibitory effect is also confirmed by flow cytometry and molecular docking. Furthermore it is shown that apigenin impairs cancer cell proliferation. The role of apigenin in suppressing tumor growth was also evident in an in vivo model, indicating a potential future application of apigenin in cancer therapy.
The Royal Society of Chemistry has been contacted by the author of this article to inform us of a problem with the authorship and some portions of text overlap, which the author attributes to an editing company.
Upon close examination the Executive Editor has found extensive text overlap with a previously published paper by Yong Yang and a co-author (Quercetin suppresses insulin receptor signaling through inhibition of the insulin ligand–receptor binding and therefore impairs cancer cell proliferation, Feng Wang and Yong Yang, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2014, 452, 1028–1033). Further to this the Executive Editor has significant concerns over the validity of the reported findings.
MedChemComm is publishing this expression of concern in order to alert readers to these concerns as the on-going investigation is expected to take a significant amount of time to complete. The Royal Society of Chemistry is currently seeking support from the affiliated institution in order to investigate the matter and establish whether the reported results are sound.
This notice will be updated when a final outcome is reached.
Here’s the notice for the 2015 retraction we’ve unearthed for “Enhancement of doxorubicin efficacy through suppression of serine synthesis in triple-negative breast cancer:”
This article has been retracted at the request of the corresponding author due to submission of his article for publication without internal review and approval from his institution (Houston Methodist Research Institute).
This 2015 paper is yet to be cited.
Richard Kelly, managing editor of MedChemComm from Cambridge, UK, sent us a statement:
The Retraction was published in accordance with our Correction and Retraction guidelines (please see our website for further information). The article was retracted with the agreement of the author after an investigation carried out by his institute at our request. The reasons for the retraction are explained in the retraction notice. Publication of this Retraction is in line with Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines.
We’ve reached out to Yong Yang and China Medical University, and will update the post with anything else we learn.
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