On November 29th, Rao Yi, president of Capital Medical University and a tenured professor at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences, reported on the Internet that he had reported academic fraud by three scientists in China. On the same day, China Newsweek asked Rao Yi for evidence of the online report letter, Rao Yi replied: “No issue, there have been drafts.” “Over the past decade, at least five literatures have been related to GPCR with a five-weight membrane.
Steel. Photo: Tongji University website
Yan Gang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Tongji University, published an article entitled “Five-span membrane domain is sufficient to act as a G-protein coupling receptor: functional five-transmembrane domain-towards the kinetic factor receptor” in 1999 as a communications author. Rao Yi in the report letter of the charges against Yan Gang: “The paper’s Figure 3, 4, 5 is impossible to be true, only false can produce (it is well known that GPCR requires seven cross-membrane areas to have function, Yansteel claims as long as 5 cross-membrane, and actually two GPCRs are like this, in addition to 3 the same wrong graph.” )”
G protein coupling receptor (GPCRs), a protein located on the cell membrane, is involved in the transmission of a variety of cellular signals. The study of GPCR also won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012, won by Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University and Brian Kobilka of Stanford University.
Through structural prediction, the researchers learned early on that the structure of GPCR was a cross-membrane structure consisting of seven alpha spirals. In an interview with China Newsweek, a domestic expert who has studied G-protein conjugate receptors and has been trained as a postdoctoral researcher for four years at top U.S. institutions, said recent studies have analyzed the structure of many GPCRs, and most of the G proteins currently seen interact with receptors, mainly from the back five helixes. The first two spirals basically act as a structural support.
He further explained that, of course, there are individual receptors may also have the first two helixes, but the first two helixes are not necessary for many G protein receptors, so five transmembrane spirals, theoretically speaking, can be evenly linked to G proteins.
According to information obtained by China Newsweek, at least five documents have been related to GPCR in the past decade and so on.
Fang Zhouzi, a popular science writer known for “scientific fraud”, told China Newsweek, “I don’t know if Rao Yi has any other evidence that Yan Gang’s paper was faked, if only (the letter) is a reason, it is not enough.” Although the wild type of GPCR is crossed seven times, many proteins have excess parts that remove those parts without affecting function. What the yansteel paper proves is that removing certain parts of GPCR does not affect the function. If, as Rao Yi said, GPCR is recognized to have seven cross-membranes, then it is impossible for the paper to be published by review. It was published to show that what Rao said was not a recognized conclusion. Moreover, other laboratories later proved that GPCR did function only five times across the membrane, i.e. the conclusion of the yansteel paper was repeated by other laboratories. On the GPCR structure of the review article, some quote the paper of Yansteel, indicating that the results are also recognized by the field peers. Therefore, Rao Yi’s letter against Yan Gang’s false accusations are not valid. Of course, Rao Yi may have other reasons to think that Yan Gang’s paper is false, he did not specify, we are not good to discuss. “
So is this paper an academic debate or a fraud? In response, Arkko replied, “Not even academic debate.” People who study GPCR have no dispute about this. Rao Yi does not do this research. “
A postdoctoral fellow in life sciences, who works in Shanghai, also told China Newsweek that Mr. Rao’s allegations of fraud against Mr. Yan were unconvincing. He explained that the experimentin in the Yangang article was actually very simple and easy to repeat. If you can repeat, false hoodist can not be self-defeating. And if the repetition can not be done, then, there are two possibilities: first, subjective fraud, this may be the experimenter fraud, or the steel refers to the group of personnel fraud. Second, it is the technical or non-subjective factors that lead to the wrong experimental results. At the same time, he also pointed out that it is worth discussing whether YanGang has the obligation to waste taxpayers’ money to repeat an article in response to an unsubstantiated allegation.
On the other hand, one expert who questioned the yangang paper in this case said, “‘It’s easy to experiment, it’s too easy! ‘So, did the industry repeat the experiment?’ Did you investigate? “
Robert Lefkowitz, who won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for his GPCR research, said in an email to China Newsweek that “I am aware of the controversy surrounding these findings, but i am not in a position to comment on them.” Since Yangang was a postdoctoral student in my lab in the early days, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to give a non-biased opinion. “
The incident of Rao Yi reporting fraud by three scientists is causing intense social concern. The “Dragon Sakura Project” of the knowledge of the user said: whether or not suspected of fraud, the specific judgment needs to be judged by professionals. The focus of the incident is how much of the content in the report letter is true, because Professor Rao Yi himself has considerable academic reputation, the current network of voicewaves mostly support Professor Rao Yi.
29, “Beijing Youth Daily” reporter from the National Natural Science Foundation of China was informed that the commission is currently investigating and verifying the matter.