Molecule of the Month
December 2020

Hepatitis C Virus Protease/Helicase

Structures of hepatitis C viral proteins have led to the discovery of direct-acting antivirals.


3D View:  1CU1




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
Using PDB Structures to Visualize Science by medical illustrator Veronica Falconieri Hays (Falconeri Visuals).
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.

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Hemoglobin (1000)

Hemoglobin S

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

Carboxypeptidase A


Lac Repressor

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)


Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)



Induced Lac Repressor

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)




DPG-Hemoglobin Complex


Ribonuclease S


Myoglobin Fold


Cytochrome c

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)

Lysozyme (512)



Cytochrome c (unbound)

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

Lysozyme (488)

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


HIV in Blood Plasma


Respiratory Droplet

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Zika Virus

Mycoplasma mycoides

SARS-CoV-2 Fusion

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Ebola Virus


Escherichia coli

Immunological Synapse

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies


Poliovirus Neutralization


Biosites: Muscle

Biosites: Nucleus

Lipid Droplets

Measles Virus Proteins

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Insulin Action

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Influenza Vaccine

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Coronavirus Life Cycle