Molecule of the Month
March 2020

Voltage-gated Sodium Channels

Voltage-gated sodium channels transmit signals in a wave through the nervous system.


3D View:  6J8J




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.

2020 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Opioid Action

Entries for the Video Challenge can be submitted now until April 28, 11:59 pm PST. Award winners will be announced on May 19.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Submit | Judges | Learn | Participate

2020 Video Challenge key visual: opioid receptor with ligand in the active site
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
Using the Protein Data Bank in the College Classroom by Bonnie Hall (Grand View University, Iowa)
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


Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Hemoglobin S


Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Carboxypeptidase A

Ribonuclease S

Lysozyme (488)

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)


Myoglobin Fold

Lysozyme (512)


Lac Repressor

Cytochrome c (unbound)


Induced Lac Repressor




Hemoglobin (1000)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S



Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)


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

Poliovirus Neutralization

Zika Virus

Immunological Synapse

Influenza Vaccine

Escherichia coli

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Biosites: Muscle

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Lipid Droplets

Biosites: Nucleus

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Biosites: Cytoplasm

HIV in Blood Plasma




Insulin Action


Ebola Virus

Mycoplasma mycoides