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.



Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Lac Repressor

Cytochrome c (unbound)

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)


Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S

TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)


Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)

Carboxypeptidase A



Hemoglobin (1000)

Cytochrome c

Hemoglobin S


Ribonuclease S


Myoglobin Fold


Induced Lac Repressor


Lysozyme (488)


Immunoglobulin G (IgG)


Lysozyme (512)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

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

Influenza Vaccine

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Lipid Droplets

Immunological Synapse

Biosites: Cytoplasm

Zika Virus


Biosites: Muscle

Escherichia coli

Biosites: Nucleus

Poliovirus Neutralization

HIV in Blood Plasma


Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Mycoplasma mycoides

Ebola Virus

Insulin Action


Biosites: Red Blood Cell