Molecule of the Month
September 2020

SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase

Coronaviruses duplicate their RNA genome using a specialized polymerase


3D View:  6YYT




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.

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


Hemoglobin (1000)

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Induced Lac Repressor

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Hemoglobin S

Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Cytochrome c (unbound)



Lysozyme (488)



DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Lysozyme (512)


Lac Repressor


Carboxypeptidase A


Cytochrome c

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)




Myoglobin Fold

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S


Ribonuclease 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

Zika Virus

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Immunological Synapse

Escherichia coli

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Lipid Droplets

Biosites: Muscle

Influenza Vaccine

Poliovirus Neutralization

Biosites: Blood Plasma


HIV in Blood Plasma



Ebola Virus

Respiratory Droplet

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Measles Virus Proteins


Coronavirus Life Cycle

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Insulin Action

Biosites: Nucleus

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Mycoplasma mycoides