Molecule of the Month
April 2020

Photosynthetic Supercomplexes

Light is captured by huge supercomplexes of photosystems and antenna systems.


3D View:  5XNL




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
Embedding Biomolecular Modeling in Elementary and Middle School Curriculum by Daniel Fried, Saint Peter’s University
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.


Myoglobin Fold

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)


Hemoglobin S



Lysozyme (512)

Ribonuclease S

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Carboxypeptidase A


Lac Repressor

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)


Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S



Lysozyme (488)

Cytochrome c


Cytochrome c (unbound)


Induced Lac Repressor

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Hemoglobin (1000)

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

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Insulin Action

Escherichia coli


Ebola Virus

Biosites: Muscle

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Poliovirus Neutralization


Biosites: Blood Plasma


Measles Virus Proteins

HIV in Blood Plasma

Lipid Droplets

Influenza Vaccine

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Zika Virus

Biosites: Nucleus


Mycoplasma mycoides

Immunological Synapse

Biosites: Red Blood Cell