ECDYBASE - a free online database of ecdysteroids is a joint project of three scientific institutions:
and one internet company:
The Ecdysone Handbook
, originally created by René Lafont
and Ian D. Wilson
, was published as a hard copy in 1992 (1st Edition) providing general data on almost 170 natural ecdysteroids described so far. Each data file contained biological, chemical, structural, spectroscopic (UV, IR, MS, NMR) and chromatographic data together with selected relevant references. The ecdysteroid family, however, continued to increase in the next years, and the enlarged 2nd Edition was published in 1996 (with 262 compounds). The number of compounds is, however, still growing (e.g., 312 compounds at the onset of 2000), and thus requiring new updated Editions. Owing to the limited number of ecdysteroid specialists interested in such Handbooks, a printed version was no longer justified. Updating the content in the hard copy editions was also a problem. This led to the idea of transforming the Handbook
in a Database
made freely available on the web to anyone interested in ecdysteroids.
Between that decision and its realization, more than 2 years have elapsed, and the project has involved several additional key contributors. First, Frédéric Marion-Poll
(INA-PG, Paris, France) designed in collaboration with several students from the INA-PG the general organization of the database, defining the different fields and their links. Then came the task of converting the original hard copy source data (Pagemaker® files) to the present "Ecdybase". This was mainly done by Juraj Harmatha
(Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic) and his son Tomas. The last part of the work was to create the web interface (designed by Tomas Harmatha
; Cybersales, a.s.) to create data sheets similar to those of the Handbook. Owing to compatibility problems, all figures had to be redrawn (by J. H.), but in counterpart this provided an opportunity to correct several records in comparison to the previous paper editions. The collected previous data, with the new updated ones, were converted to the "Ecdybase"
, presented in 2002 at the 15th Ecdysone Workshop, and opened to free access on the URL https://ecdybase.org/
In subsequent years, also data on biological activities of ecdysteroids and literary reports of the presence of ecdysteroids in natural sources, collected by Laurence Dinan
(University of Exeter, U.K.), were added to the Ecdybase.
Ecdybase presents biological, chemical, structural, spectroscopic (UV, IR, MS, NMR) and chromatographic data about natural ecdysteroids together with selected relevant references.
Since 2021, there are also various structural descriptors (IUPAC name, canonical and isomeric SMILES, InChi and InChiKey, CAS-Registry Number and PubChem CID) with relevant links to PubChem, ChemSpider and CemIDPlus included in the datasheet of each ecdysteroid. It is additionally possible to obtain a 3-dimensional view of the molecule via on the '3D' button included in the isomeric SMILES box. In the 'Access Data' Section, a list of calculated physico-chemical data for each of the analogues is now also provided.
Case-insensitive search for compounds by name or partial name (a string of at least 3 characters) is available, as well as search by molecular weight, by molecular formula CnxHnyOnz (or selectively by the number of elements Cnx/Onz), and by occurrence in biological sources). Search is also available by the name of author (selected from an available list of quoted authors), and by the year of first record.
The present update of the Ecdybase includes also data on biological activities of ecdysteroids, and also a catalogue of commercial products containing ecdysteroids, with direct links to the homepages of the relevant producers. Attached is also a comprehensive compilation of literary reports for the presence of ecdysteroids in various natural sources.