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Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1370
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5624.1370b

In our report “CLAVATA3, a multimeric ligand for the CLAVATA1 receptor-kinase,” an analysis of CLV3 function in Arabidopsis, we concluded that CLV3 acted as a ligand for the CLV1 receptor-kinase (1). The work was based on the use of polyclonal antibodies to CLV3, and the data presented indicated that the antibodies specifically detected CLV3 from Arabidopsis and cauliflower extracts and CLV3 fusion proteins expressed in Escherichia coli. All experiments involved in the production and use of these antibodies had been conducted by a single lead investigator.

E. coli-expressed CLV3 fusion protein was purified and used to generate rabbit antibodies. (A) Serum RN1B detected CLV3 expressed in E. coli as mature protein (mCLV3) and as MBP-, GST-, and His-fusion proteins. Asterisks indicate location of CLV3 fusion protein. (B) Serum RN-1B also detects CLV3 protein expressed in Arabidopsis when overexpressed by dexamethasone treatment in three different transgenic lines (1-10, 3-2, and 3–10). The antibodies cross-react with a nonspecific protein of about 55 kD. A modified transfer procedure to eliminate chlorophyll and optimize small protein transfer is available as supplemental data (2).

Subsequent attempts by other laboratory members to use aliquots of these polyclonal antibodies have been unsuccessful. Specifically, we have been unable to detect E. coli-expressed CLV3 protein using these antibodies to CLV3. Thus, we can no longer trust the reliability of our previous data and must retract our findings. One of the original coauthors, Amy E. Trotochaud, could not be located to sign this retraction.

In an attempt to independently assess CLV3 protein interactions, we have generated additional polyclonal antibodies to CLV3. We are currently testing these antibodies to determine their specificity and attempting to retest our previous findings. To encourage other investigators to conduct independent analyses of CLV3 protein, we present the current, albeit preliminary, status of these new antibodies and will make them available to other laboratories (see figure).


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