On the basis of the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association’s Panel on Ethical Scientific Programs (ESP), the American Diabetes Association, the publisher of Diabetes, is issuing this expression of concern to alert readers to questions about the reliability of the data in the above-cited article.
After readers contacted the journal about the potential republication of images from this article, the ESP reviewed the following issues:
In a 2009 PLOS ONE article (PLoS ONE 2009;4:e4394; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004394), lanes 1 and 2 of the “b-Actin” panel in Fig. 1A appear to be the same as lanes 2 and 3 of the “Actin 42 kDa” panel in Fig. 3G of this 2006 Diabetes article.
It should be noted that a correction to replace Fig. 1A was published in PLOS ONE in May 2015 (PLoS ONE 2015;10:e0117766; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117766).
Also, lane 4 of the PDX1 panel in Fig. 1E of a 2011 article in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (J Biol Chem 2011;286:17144–17155; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.210526) closely resembles lane 1 of the FLIP 55KDa panel of Fig. 3D of this 2006 Diabetes article. Also, lane 8 of the PDX1 panel of Fig. 1E of The Journal of Biological Chemistry article closely resembles lane 5 of the FLIP 55KDa panel in Fig. 3D of this Diabetes article.
It should be noted that The Journal of Biological Chemistry article was retracted in November 2015 (DOI: 10.1074/jbc.A110.210526).
Despite the published amendments to the PLOS ONE and The Journal of Biological Chemistry articles, the Panel still has concerns about the reliability of the data and conclusions presented in this article. The Panel has contacted the lead author (Dr. Kathrin Maedler, who is the corresponding author on the PLOS ONE and The Journal of Biological Chemistry articles) to inform her of these concerns and has asked the author’s institution, the University of Bremen, to undertake an investigation of these issues. Diabetes will make a final decision on the publication status of this article after the journal obtains more information from the university.
Diabetes is a member journal of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (publicationethics.org). As such, the ESP refers to COPE’s guidelines and best practices when reviewing potential violations of the journal’s publication policies.