UCLA group has three papers retracted

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has retracted three papers by a group from the University of California, Los Angeles, citing problems with the figures. 

Two of the papers, published in 2002, 2004 and 2009, have the same last author, Mark H. Doolittle, who is the first author of the most recent article. Doolittle, who appears to be a highly talented woodworker, has left UCLA and did not respond to a request for comment. 

The retraction notice for the 2002 paper, “Maturation of lipoprotein lipase in the endoplasmic reticulum: Concurrent formation of functional dimers and inactive aggregates,” states: 

This article has been withdrawn by Osnat Ben-Zeev and Mark H. Doolittle. Hui Z. Mao could not be reached. Fig. 3A contained several duplicated regions. Figs. 3, B and C; 5B; 6, B and C; 7, A and B; and 8, A and B, were inappropriately manipulated.

The paper has been cited 59 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

The retraction for the 2002 paper is much like that of the second, for “Maturation of hepatic lipase: Formation of functional enzyme in the endoplasmic reticulum is the rate-limiting step in its secretion,” by Ben-Zeev and Doolittle:

This article has been withdrawn by the authors. Figs. 1, 3B, and 6A were inappropriately manipulated. Figs. 4C and 7 were spliced.

The paper has been cited 20 times.

The notice for the 2009 paper, “Lipase maturation factor LMF1, membrane topology and interaction with lipase proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum,” on which Doolittle was first author, is a bit more involved:

This article has been withdrawn by Mark H. Doolittle, Saskia B. Neher, Osnat Ben-Zeev, Ciara M. Gallagher, Maryam Hosseini, Peter Walter, and Miklós Péterfy. Jo Ling-liao, Fen Yin and Howard Wong have not responded. After a review of the data, one of the corresponding authors (M. P.) learned that there was duplication and inappropriate manipulation of images in Fig. 7, raising concerns about the validity of the conclusions drawn from the results. The Walter laboratory (S. B. N., C. M. G., and P. W.) was not involved in the generation, presentation, or interpretation of the data in Fig. 7.

The paper has been cited 23 times.

We emailed Péterfy and the journal for more information and will update this post if we hear back. 

Update, 1330 UTC, 9/3/19: The group has withdrawn a fourth paper, this one in the Journal of Lipid Research. Here’s the notice for “Lipase maturation factor 1 is required for endothelial lipase activity:”

This article has been withdrawn by Osnat Ben-Zeev, Maryam Hosseini, Nicole Ehrhardt, Angelo B. Cefalù, Davide Noto, Maurizio R. Averna, Mark H. Doolittle, and Miklós Péterfy. Ching-Mei Lai and Howard Wong could not be reached. After a review of data, the corresponding author learned that data in Figures 1B, 2B, and 3 were inappropriately presented, which raises concerns about the validity of conclusions reached. The Averna laboratory (A. B. C., D. N., and M. R. A.) was not involved in the generation or presentation of data in Figures 1B, 2B, and 3.

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2 thoughts on “UCLA group has three papers retracted”

  1. In discussion of the first retraction, the line about how many times the paper has been cited has slipped into the quote from the retraction notice.

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