Molecule of the Month
November 2019

Phospholipase A2

Phospholipase A2 breaks membrane lipids, forming molecules that contribute to inflammation and pain signaling.


3D View:  1BP2




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 of these 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

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 14 and April 28, 2020.

Quick Links

The Challenge | Learn | Participate

2020 Video Challenge
Learn: Materials for Exploration
Learn about the relationship between protein structure and function.
Teach: Curricula
The RCSB PDB Curricula provide authentic, hands-on teaching materials, individual and group activities and assessment suggestions.
Education Corner: Using PDB Resources
Gaming Structural Biology for General Audiences: Deep Learning, Citizen Science & Puppies: The path towards segmentation of a cryoEM dataset of a virus infected cell by Michele Darrow, Ph.D. and XFEL Crystal Blaster: an educational game by Fiacre Kabayiza and Bill Bauer, Ph.D.
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.

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)


Hemoglobin S


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)


Lysozyme (512)


Myoglobin Fold




Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Cytochrome c



Hemoglobin (1000)

Lac Repressor

Carboxypeptidase A

Cytochrome c (unbound)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Lysozyme (488)

Ribonuclease S

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Induced Lac Repressor


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

Biosites: Muscle

Escherichia coli

Zika Virus

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Ebola Virus



Insulin Action

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Biosites: Nucleus


HIV in Blood Plasma

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Measles Virus Proteins

Mycoplasma mycoides