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Cell. 2001 Jan 26;104(2):301-11.

RETRACTED: Crystal structure of a complement control protein that regulates both pathways of complement activation and binds heparan sulfate proteoglycans.

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Center for Biophysical Science and Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1918 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal ( This article has been retracted at the request of request of the editors. Cell is retracting this paper reporting structures of a poxvirus protein, VCP, that inhibits the complement system. The paper presents a structural model derived from two crystal forms of the protein (PDB: 1G40 and 1G44) that defines an interaction surface implicated in inhibition of complement C3 proteins and visualizes heparin binding sites. We were contacted by the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), the corresponding author's institution, with a report detailing concerns about the veracity of the structures and recommending that the structures be retracted from the Protein Data Bank. We then conducted an assessment with input from experts in the field who found that the structures as presented in the paper were not consistent with available data, including spatial packing and structure (B) factors. These findings were consistent with issues contained in the UAB report. A subsequent investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity ( has concluded that the corresponding author, Krishna H.M. Murthy, engaged in research misconduct and that the structures were falsified and/or fabricated. Given the results of our own assessment and the institutional investigations, the most appropriate course of action is to retract the paper. Co-authors Nick Mullin, Paul N. Barlow, and Craig M. Ogata support this retraction.

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