In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (6)

Articles by Ana Marcu in JoVE

Other articles by Ana Marcu on PubMed

Autophagic Digestion of Leishmania Major by Host Macrophages is Associated with Differential Expression of BNIP3, CTSE, and the MiRNAs MiR-101c, MiR-129, and MiR-210

Parasites & Vectors. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26226952

Autophagy participates in innate immunity by eliminating intracellular pathogens. Consequently, numerous microorganisms have developed strategies to impair the autophagic machinery in phagocytes. In the current study, interactions between Leishmania major (L. m.) and the autophagic machinery of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) were analyzed.

ECMDB 2.0: A Richer Resource for Understanding the Biochemistry of E. Coli

Nucleic Acids Research. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26481353

ECMDB or the Escherichia coli Metabolome Database ( is a comprehensive database containing detailed information about the genome and metabolome of E. coli (K-12). First released in 2012, the ECMDB has undergone substantial expansion and many modifications over the past 4 years. This manuscript describes the most recent version of ECMDB (ECMDB 2.0). In particular, it provides a comprehensive update of the database that was previously described in the 2013 NAR Database Issue and details many of the additions and improvements made to the ECMDB over that time. Some of the most important or significant enhancements include a 13-fold increase in the number of metabolic pathway diagrams (from 125 to 1650), a 3-fold increase in the number of compounds linked to pathways (from 1058 to 3280), the addition of dozens of operon/metabolite signalling pathways, a 44% increase in the number of compounds in the database (from 2610 to 3760), a 7-fold increase in the number of compounds with NMR or MS spectra (from 412 to 3261) and a massive increase in the number of external links to other E. coli or chemical resources. These additions, along with many other enhancements aimed at improving the ease or speed of querying, searching and viewing the data within ECMDB should greatly facilitate the understanding of not only the metabolism of E. coli, but also allow the in-depth exploration of its extensive metabolic networks, its many signalling pathways and its essential biochemistry.

Inhibitory Effect of Phenothiazine- and Phenoxazine-derived Chloroacetamides on Leishmania Major Growth and Trypanosoma Brucei Trypanothione Reductase

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26708110

A number of phenothiazine-, phenoxazine- and related tricyclics-derived chloroacetamides were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for antiprotozoal activities against Leishmania major (L. major) promastigotes. Several analogs were remarkably potent inhibitors, with antileishmanial activities being comparable or superior to those of the reference antiprotozoal drugs. Furthermore, we explored the structure-activity relationships of N-10 haloacetamides that influence the potency of such analogs toward inhibition of L. major promastigote growth in vitro. With respect to the mechanism of action, selected compounds were evaluated for time-dependent inactivation of Trypanosoma brucei trypanothione reductase. Our results are indicative of a covalent interaction which could account for potent antiprotozoal activities.

PHASTER: a Better, Faster Version of the PHAST Phage Search Tool

Nucleic Acids Research. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27141966

PHASTER (PHAge Search Tool - Enhanced Release) is a significant upgrade to the popular PHAST web server for the rapid identification and annotation of prophage sequences within bacterial genomes and plasmids. Although the steps in the phage identification pipeline in PHASTER remain largely the same as in the original PHAST, numerous software improvements and significant hardware enhancements have now made PHASTER faster, more efficient, more visually appealing and much more user friendly. In particular, PHASTER is now 4.3× faster than PHAST when analyzing a typical bacterial genome. More specifically, software optimizations have made the backend of PHASTER 2.7X faster than PHAST, while the addition of 80 CPUs to the PHASTER compute cluster are responsible for the remaining speed-up. PHASTER can now process a typical bacterial genome in 3 min from the raw sequence alone, or in 1.5 min when given a pre-annotated GenBank file. A number of other optimizations have also been implemented, including automated algorithms to reduce the size and redundancy of PHASTER's databases, improvements in handling multiple (metagenomic) queries and higher user traffic, along with the ability to perform automated look-ups against 14 000 previously PHAST/PHASTER annotated bacterial genomes (which can lead to complete phage annotations in seconds as opposed to minutes). PHASTER's web interface has also been entirely rewritten. A new graphical genome browser has been added, gene/genome visualization tools have been improved, and the graphical interface is now more modern, robust and user-friendly. PHASTER is available online at

Heatmapper: Web-enabled Heat Mapping for All

Nucleic Acids Research. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27190236

Heatmapper is a freely available web server that allows users to interactively visualize their data in the form of heat maps through an easy-to-use graphical interface. Unlike existing non-commercial heat map packages, which either lack graphical interfaces or are specialized for only one or two kinds of heat maps, Heatmapper is a versatile tool that allows users to easily create a wide variety of heat maps for many different data types and applications. More specifically, Heatmapper allows users to generate, cluster and visualize: (i) expression-based heat maps from transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic experiments; (ii) pairwise distance maps; (iii) correlation maps; (iv) image overlay heat maps; (v) latitude and longitude heat maps and (vi) geopolitical (choropleth) heat maps. Heatmapper offers a number of simple and intuitive customization options for facile adjustments to each heat map's appearance and plotting parameters. Heatmapper also allows users to interactively explore their numeric data values by hovering their cursor over each heat map cell, or by using a searchable/sortable data table view. Heat map data can be easily uploaded to Heatmapper in text, Excel or tab delimited formatted tables and the resulting heat map images can be easily downloaded in common formats including PNG, JPG and PDF. Heatmapper is designed to appeal to a wide range of users, including molecular biologists, structural biologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, environmental scientists, agriculture/forestry scientists, fish and wildlife biologists, climatologists, geologists, educators and students. Heatmapper is available at

YMDB 2.0: a Significantly Expanded Version of the Yeast Metabolome Database

Nucleic Acids Research. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27899612

YMDB or the Yeast Metabolome Database ( is a comprehensive database containing extensive information on the genome and metabolome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Initially released in 2012, the YMDB has gone through a significant expansion and a number of improvements over the past 4 years. This manuscript describes the most recent version of YMDB (YMDB 2.0). More specifically, it provides an updated description of the database that was previously described in the 2012 NAR Database Issue and it details many of the additions and improvements made to the YMDB over that time. Some of the most important changes include a 7-fold increase in the number of compounds in the database (from 2007 to 16 042), a 430-fold increase in the number of metabolic and signaling pathway diagrams (from 66 to 28 734), a 16-fold increase in the number of compounds linked to pathways (from 742 to 12 733), a 17-fold increase in the numbers of compounds with nuclear magnetic resonance or MS spectra (from 783 to 13 173) and an increase in both the number of data fields and the number of links to external databases. In addition to these database expansions, a number of improvements to YMDB's web interface and its data visualization tools have been made. These additions and improvements should greatly improve the ease, the speed and the quantity of data that can be extracted, searched or viewed within YMDB. Overall, we believe these improvements should not only improve the understanding of the metabolism of S. cerevisiae, but also allow more in-depth exploration of its extensive metabolic networks, signaling pathways and biochemistry.

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