Researchers are retracting a highly-cited linkurl:2004 Science paper;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/303/5656/371 describing a new way of adding sugars to proteins -- a longstanding challenge in molecular biology -- citing their inability to repeat the results and the absence of the original lab notebooks with the experiment details, they linkurl:announced;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/326/5957/1187-a in Science last Thursday (November 26).
"It is unfortunate that they cannot repeat it," said biochemist linkurl:Lai-Xi Wang;http://medschool.umaryland.edu/FACULTYRESEARCHPROFILE/viewprofile.aspx?id=7742 of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who did not participate in the retracted research. "This method opened a new avenue for the preparation of glycoproteins [with] huge potential in this field." Glycosylation, the addition of sugars to proteins, is a common posttranslational modification that is found on some 70% of human proteins. It can affect a variety of protein functions, including folding and biomolecular recognition, but the exact relationship between the structural and functional changes remains elusive. One of the reasons...
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