Molecule of the Month
April 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Antibodies

Structural biologists are revealing the many ways that antibodies fight SARS-CoV-2


3D View:  7K8T




Health Focus: Drugs and the Brain

The brain orchestrates everything we do, sending signals through the nervous system to control different parts of our body. The brain is also the home of our thoughts and consciousness, as neurons process the input from our senses and store what they find as memories. Many drugs are available to help tune the function of the brain and nervous system when there are problems. Unfortunately, the effects of some drugs are hard to control and can lead to abuse and addiction. Explore PDB-101 Resources to learn about proteins related to our nervous system and mental health.

2021 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Drugs for Mental Disorders

Entries for the Video Challenge can be submitted now until April 27, 11:59 pm PST. Award winners will be announced on May 18.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Submit | Judges | Learn | Participate

2020 Video Challenge key visual: opioid receptor with ligand in the active site
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank
Celebrating 50 Years of Protein Data Bank

In 1971, the structural biology community established the single worldwide archive for macromolecular structure data–-the Protein Data Bank (PDB). In 2021, RCSB PDB and wwPDB are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the PDB with symposia, materials, and more.

Learn: Materials for Exploration
PDB-101 resources and 3D structures of COVID-19 proteins.
Teach: Curricula
The RCSB PDB Curricula provide authentic, hands-on teaching materials, individual and group activities and assessment suggestions.
Education Corner: Using PDB Resources
2020 ACA Transactions Symposium on Structural Science: New Ways to Teach the Next Generation by Cassandra Eagle (East Tennessee State University), Joe Tanski (Vassar College), Andrey Yakovenko, (Argonne National Laboratory), and Christine Zardecki (RCSB PDB).
SciArt Galleries
Irving Geis (1908-1997) was a gifted artist who helped illuminate the field of structural biology with his iconic images. The Geis Digital Archive features many of his illustrations in the context of their molecular structures.

Images used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.


Lac Repressor

Carboxypeptidase A

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Lysozyme (512)

Lysozyme (488)


Cytochrome c


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)


Induced Lac Repressor


Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)



TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)


Hemoglobin (1000)

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Myoglobin Fold


Hemoglobin S

Cytochrome c (unbound)


Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Ribonuclease S

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S


The Molecular Landscapes by David S. Goodsell integrate information from structural biology, microscopy and biophysics to simulate detailed views of the molecular structure of living cells.

Illustrations are free for use under a CC-BY-4.0 license

Measles Virus Proteins

Influenza Vaccine

Insulin Action

Coronavirus Life Cycle

Zika Virus


Ebola Virus

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine

Biosites: Nucleus

Respiratory Droplet

Lipid Droplets

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Biosites: Muscle


SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Escherichia coli

Mycoplasma mycoides

HIV in Blood Plasma

Biosites: Blood Plasma


Immunological Synapse

Poliovirus Neutralization

Biosites: Cytoplasm


Biosites: Red Blood Cell