Cancer researcher up to five retractions

A researcher in India is up to five retractions, by our count, for problematic data and image issues. 

The latest retractions involve articles published in 2008 and 2013 in the journal Life Sciences. The last author on the papers is Yogeshwer Shukla, of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, about whom we have previously written

The first paper, “Resveratrol induces apoptosis involving mitochondrial pathways in mouse skin tumorigenesis,” is rife with image problems

Multiple figures in this article appear to be falsified/fabricated, and cannot be verified as the corresponding author does not have the original data.

Fig. 2. It appears that data has been duplicated in panels V and VI.

Fig. 3A. Lanes II and VI in the p53 wild band appear to be duplicated.

Fig. 4A. Lanes I, II, V and VI of the Beta-actin blot appear to be the same data replicated.

Fig. 4B. The representative blots in the Bcl-2 band, lanes V and VI are identical, as are all lanes in the Beta-actin band.

Fig. 5B. Lanes III and IV of the Apaf 1 band, when rotated and vertically stretched, are duplicated and appear in Fig. 3D as lanes III and IV of the Cytochrome C blot in “Chemopreventive potential of resveratrol in mouse skin tumors through regulation of mitochondrial and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.” Pharmaceutical Research (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11095-008-9723-z.

Fig. 5C. Lanes II and V of the Caspase 9 band appear to be duplicated.

Fig. 5E. The bands in lane V and VI of the Beta-actin blot are duplicated.

Fig. 5B and 5C. The Beta-actin lane IV band in 5B and lane IV in 5C appear to be duplicated from Fig. 6B in “Hepatoprotective effects of lupeol and mango pulp extract of carcinogen induced alteration in Swiss albino mice.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (2007). https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.200600113.

The paper has been cited 71 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

The second paper, “Tea polyphenols enhance cisplatin chemosensitivity in cervical cancer cells via induction of apoptosis,” suffers from similar issues

Multiple figures in this article appear to be falsified/fabricated.

Fig. 2A and C. The representative dot plots from the EGCG (15 μg/ml) + CDDP (10 μg/ml) and TF (15 μg/ml) groups appear to be duplicated.

Figs. 3, 4 and 6. Multiple Western blot bands appear to be rotated and reused throughout Fig. 3(A and B); 4(A and B) and 6(A, B, C). In particular, the Cytochrome-c blot in Fig. 3B is duplicated and flipped in Fig. 6B as p-NFKB. The p53 blot in Fig. 3B is duplicated in Fig. 6C as p-NFKB. The B-actin blot in Fig. 3B is shown as an unmarked control lane (flipped in Fig. 6B). The p53 band in Fig. 3C is very similar to the Caspase 9 blot in Fig. 4B and is cropped and duplicated in Fig. 6A as p-NFKB by cisplatin in SiHa cells. The Caspase 3 blot in Fig. 4A is rotated and flipped and appears in Fig. 6B as p-IKBa.

That paper has been cited 41 times.

Shukla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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6 thoughts on “Cancer researcher up to five retractions”

  1. This might be a good place to promote the website of Indian science journalist Ravindranath Prasad (@RPrasad12), where he checks the state of play of PubPeer threads, e.g.
    https://journosdiary.com/2019/06/17/bhim-b-prasad-of-bhu-has-51-papers-with-manipulated-duplicated-images/

    Prasad has had some success in agitating about scandals in the Indian research establishment, and he’ll deserve a share of the credit if anything is done about career data-fakers.

  2. I am a little bit surprised about this one particular sentence in the first retraction notice:
    “Fig. 5B. Lanes III and IV of the Apaf 1 band, when rotated and vertically stretched, are duplicated and appear in Fig. 3D as lanes III and IV of the Cytochrome C blot in “Chemopreventive potential of resveratrol in mouse skin tumors through regulation of mitochondrial and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.” Pharmaceutical Research (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11095-008-9723-z.”

    As one can see on Pubpeer, lanes I, II, and V of those Figures are _also_ the same, they’ve just not been rotated:
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/850796C5228A56DF71E8D4E4601C87#9

    I assume this Pharmaceutical Research paper will also be retracted somewhere in the future.

  3. Recent correction for “Inhibitory effects of tea polyphenols by targeting cyclooxygenase-2 through regulation of nuclear factor kappa B, Akt and p53 in rat mammary tumors” (Preeti Roy , Jasmine George , Smita Srivastava , Shilpa Tyagi , Yogeshwer Shukla; Investigational New Drugs, 2011).
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/309118EE39149EF7FDAB4E323994A1

    “The authors regret to inform that there were unknowing errors in figures. The corrected images are given below. These figures are not affecting the results and conclusion of the manuscript. Hence, the text in original paper remains unchanged.”

  4. 2020 retraction of
    Mutat Res. 2012 Aug 30;747(1):22-28. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
    Allethrin-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in Swiss albino mice.
    Srivastava AK1, Srivastava PK2, Al-Khedhairy AA3, Musarrat J3, Shukla Y4.
    Author information
    1
    Proteomics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR), P.O. Box 80, M.G. Marg, Lucknow 226001, UP, India; Department of Biochemistry, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, UP, India.
    2
    Department of Biochemistry, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, UP, India.
    3
    Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
    4
    Proteomics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR), P.O. Box 80, M.G. Marg, Lucknow 226001, UP, India.

    2020 retraction notice.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1383571819303742

    This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief. In this article Figure 2 is described as depicting flow cytometry data of micronuclei induced by allethrin at different doses, but the figure contains duplications which affect the conclusions of the article. The authors have not been able to provide any justification for this image manipulation. As such this article represents a misuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

  5. 2020 retraction for:

    Mol Carcinog. 2008 Dec;47(12):916-24. doi: 10.1002/mc.20442.
    Regulation of signaling pathways involved in lupeol induced inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.
    Prasad S1, Nigam N, Kalra N, Shukla Y.
    Author information
    1
    Proteomics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, India.

    2020 retraction notice.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mc.20442

    The above article, published online on April 10 2008 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief and Wiley Periodicals, Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to data duplication, both from previous papers from the same group (Shukla Y, Prasad S, Tripathi C, Singh M, George J, Kalra N. In vitro and in vivo modulation of testosterone mediated alterations in apoptosis related proteins by [6]‐gingerol. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007;51(12):1492–1502. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.200700197

    as well as within the figures themselves, specifically figure 4 C, where the flow cytometry contains multiple intra‐figure duplications. The authors and the institution were both contacted by the publisher for explanations regarding the duplication and both were unresponsive.

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