Journal of Cell Science was informed that several bands in each of the ERK1/2, P-AKT, AKT and p70S6K blots in Fig. 5 look very similar. After discussions with the first author, Raffaella Guerriero, who was unable to locate the original data, the journal referred this matter to the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. As the institute does not have a suitable body to investigate this matter, the journal is publishing this Expression of Concern to alert readers to issues with the western blots shown in Fig. 5. Without the original full blots and an impartial investigation by the institute, the journal cannot determine whether the results and conclusions reported in the paper are compromised.
The authors apologise to readers for any inconvenience caused.
After this note was published, Journal of Cell Science was contacted by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità to clarify that they do in fact have a committee to investigate research integrity matters, and that they would endeavour to make this more obvious. They investigated this case and issued the following statement:
The Bioethics Unit and the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS: Italian National Institute of Health) are in charge of dealing with ethical issues and research integrity matters. The ISS Bioethics Unit and the ISS REC carried out an independent investigation following the Expression of Concern published by the Journal of Cell Science. The corresponding author, Dr Raffaella Guerriero, provided relevant and pertinent documentation and information.
Following the investigation, the ISS Research Ethics Committee and the ISS Bioethics Unit confirm the results and conclusions of the paper by Guerriero et al. (2006). The Head of the ISS Research Coordination and Support Service was informed about the results of this investigation. The President of the ISS, Prof. Silvio Brusaferro, approved the results of the investigation and the present note.