Molecule of the Month
October 2020

Capsaicin Receptor TRPV1

TRPV1 is an ion channel that senses heat and contributes to pain sensation.


3D View:  5is0




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

RCSB PDB invites all high school students to tell a two-minute story that combines structural Biology and Medicine. Videos can be submited between January 12 and April 27, 2021.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Learn | Participate

2021 Video Challenge key visual: synaptic region with one fused vesicle
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
A Secondary School Bioinformatics Workbook for Visualizing DNA, RNA and Proteins by Suzanne Duce, University of Dundee
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.

Cytochrome c

Carboxypeptidase A


Lac Repressor

Hemoglobin (1000)

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Induced Lac Repressor

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Lysozyme (488)



Lysozyme (512)


Myoglobin Fold

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex



Cytochrome c (unbound)

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)


Ribonuclease S

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S




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



Influenza Vaccine

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Ebola Virus


Biosites: Blood Plasma

Escherichia coli

Coronavirus Life Cycle

Mycoplasma mycoides

Insulin Action

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Measles Virus Proteins

Respiratory Droplet

HIV in Blood Plasma

Zika Virus

Lipid Droplets


SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Biosites: Nucleus

Biosites: Muscle

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Poliovirus Neutralization

Immunological Synapse


Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses