Caught Our Notice: Swiss group loses 4th paper for data manipulation

Title: Dysferlin Interacts with Histone Deacetylase 6 and Increases alpha-Tubulin Acetylation

What Caught Our Attention:  After losing three articles for data manipulation, Michael Sinnreich has retracted another paper in PLoS ONE.  All four retractions share some of the same authors, including Bilal Azakir and Sabrina Di Fulvio, who is listed as the first author on the latest retraction. None of the notices have identified a person responsible for the data manipulation. Three years ago, PubPeer user had flagged some of the figures mentioned in the notice — noting that he was “led to this paper by a story on Retraction Watch” — most likely, a 2014 post that flagged an ongoing discussion about one of Sinnreich’s papers on PubPeer.

Journal: PLoS ONE

Authors: Sabrina Di Fulvio, Bilal A. Azakir, Christian Therrien, Michael Sinnreich

Affiliations: University of Basel, Switzerland; McGill University, Canada

The Notice:

The corresponding author, Michael Sinnreich, has requested retraction of this article because the data used in this study were found to have been manipulated, and the integrity of the study to be compromised.

The following issues were specified: 

Images in Figures 1B and 3C had been duplicated; 

Western blot images in Figure 2B (2nd row, NiNTA pulldown, IB: anti-FLAG) were found to be manipulated; 

Western blot images in Figure 3D (1st row, IP: anti-alpha-tubulin, IB: anti-GFP) were found to be manipulated. 

The University of Basel investigated this matter using its established procedures for matters of scientific integrity and found evidence of data manipulation. 

In light of the concerns identified, the authors and the PLOS ONE Editors retract this article.

The journal editors have attempted to contact all co-authors on the manuscript by email. MS made the initial request for retraction. SDF, BAA and CT agreed with the retraction.

Date of Article: December 2011

Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science: 24  

Date of Notice: January 29, 2018

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.