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.

2020 Video Challenge for High School Students

Molecular Mechanisms of Opioid Action

Thanks to all challenge participants, expert judges, teachers, parents, and voters who made this competition happen.

Congratulations to the 2020 Winning Teams!

Winner, First Place Winner, Second Winner, Third Winner, Viewers Choice Winner, Viewers Choice

Bothell High School
Bothell, WA

Jericho High School
Jericho, NY

The Bronx High School of Science
Bronx, NY

Loomis Chaffee School
Windsor, CT

West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South
West Windsor, NJ

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.



Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV)

Myoglobin Fold

Aspartate Transcarbamoylase (ATCase)


Carboxypeptidase A


TATA-Binding Protein (TBP)

Lysozyme (512)

Intermolecular Contacts in Hemoglobin S



Hemoglobin (1000)

Ribonuclease S

Induced Lac Repressor


Cytochrome c (unbound)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG)




Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

Hemoglobin S


Lac Repressor

Transfer Ribonucleic Acid (tRNA)

DPG-Hemoglobin Complex

Cytochrome c

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

Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses

Mycoplasma mycoides

Biosites: Nucleus

SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies

Ebola Virus

Insulin Action

Respiratory Droplet

Measles Virus Proteins




Coronavirus Life Cycle

Immunological Synapse

Lipid Droplets



Poliovirus Neutralization

Biosites: Muscle

Influenza Vaccine

Zika Virus

HIV in Blood Plasma

Biosites: Red Blood Cell

Biosites: Blood Plasma

Biosites: Basement Membrane

Escherichia coli

Biosites: Cytoplasm